NBA commissioner David Stern announced Thursday that he will be step down as commissioner on Feb. 1, 2014.
Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver will succeed him; he has already been approved by the league's board of governors.
The Feb. 1, 2014 will mark the 30th anniversary of Stern taking the job, making him the longest-tenured league commissioner ever, breaking Pete Rozelle's record by two months. Rozelle was commissioner of the NFL from 1960-1989.
"I could not be happier sitting here, to know that I'm going to be succeeded by Adam. I'm not going any place for the next 15 months, but this gives us the opportunity to work on a very smooth transition across a broad array of initiatives and issues that we're going to be working on together, and I'm very, very happy," said Stern. during Thursday's NBA board of governors' press conference.
The league is hoping to continue the ratings momentum of the past few years. Last year, despite a five-month lockout that shortened the season, its national TV partners saw ratings increases across the board; TNT, ABC and the league's own channel, NBA TV, all experienced record viewership. That momentum carried into the postseason, where ESPN saw its most-watched playoffs ever and ABC scored its second-highest rated NBA Finals ever.