NBA Commissioner David Stern will retire on Feb. 1, 2014, 30 years after he took charge of the league. He will be replaced by Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver.
The announcement came at an NBA Board of Governors meeting Thursday.
Stern told owners during their two days of meetings of his plans, and the board unanimously decided Silver would be his successor.
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Stern, who turned 70 last month, became commissioner on Feb. 1, 1984. He has been the NBA's longest-serving commissioner, establishing the league's brand around the world, presiding over team expansion and overseeing the establishment of the WNBA.
"You'll be remembered as the best of all-time," Silver told Stern, sitting to his left on a podium during a news conference.
Stern said he decided on his plans about six months ago, having guided the league through a lockout that ended nearly a year ago. He said the league is in great shape and he is confident in Silver, who has been the league's No. 2 since 2006.
"I don't know what else to say other than to recite what I told the owners yesterday in executive session," Stern said. "I told them that it's been a great run, it will continue for another 15 months, that the league is in, I think, terrific condition."