usatsi8021332.jpgDavid Stern is being honored by FIBA.USATSI

David Stern isn’t only an important NBA figure. The former commissioner, who helped bring NBA players into the Olympics, is also an important figure in the international game. That’s why he’s being inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame this year as a contributor to the game.

Back in the late 1980s and early 90s, three men envisioned bringing NBA players into the Olympics. Along with former IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch, Stern worked with Borislav Stankovic to forever change international basketball. Samaranch also is going into the FIBA Hall of Fame as a contributor. The class also includes NBA legend Hakeem Olajuwon. From FIBA:

David J. Stern headlines a list of eight world class basketball personalities from seven different countries that make up the 2016 Class of Inductees to be enshrined into FIBA’s Hall of Fame on Saturday 27 August in Geneva and Mies, Switzerland.

Stern, the Commissioner of the NBA from 1984-2014, will be enshrined as one of two contributors alongside the late Juan Antonio Samaranch, who served as President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1980-2001.

“I am greatly honored to have been selected for induction into the FIBA Hall of Fame,” said Stern. “I am proud of my collaboration with Borislav Stankovic to unite and strengthen basketball on a global basis, which has been continued by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann. It is also a great honor for me to be inducted with Hakeem Olajuwon and the other class of 2016 inductees who have contributed so much to our game.”

The first NBA Olympians comprised maybe the greatest team ever: 1992’s Dream Team. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin and Christian Laettner dominated and delighted the world. It helped grow the game globally, making basketball much stronger over the last 24 years.

Stern’s influence over Basketball Without Borders camps and getting NBA played overseas also contributed, but the galvanizing force was helping make the Dream Team and subsequent teams (let’s not count 2004) possible.

Source: CBS Sports / Former NBA commissioner David Stern inducted into FIBA Hall of Fame