Jan 1, 2020

Former NBA commissioner David Stern dies at 77

Photo: Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images for AWXII

Former NBA commissioner David Stern, 77, died Wednesday, weeks after suffering a sudden brain hemorrhage, the league announced.

The big picture, via Axios' Rashaan Ayesh: Stern led the NBA for 30 years and transformed the league into one of the most profitable sports operations in the world. Since leaving the NBA, Stern has been involved in efforts to use new technology, like virtual reality, to change fans' sports consumption.

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The NBA's engagement problem

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The NBA has embraced social media as a way to drive fan engagement, and it's working. Problem is, "engagement" isn't "viewership," and what plays well on social media doesn't necessarily make fans want to tune in to the games.

Driving the news: In the two months since we were first made aware of the NBA's declining TV ratings, all kinds of theories have been posed to explain the dip.

Go deeperArrowJan 22, 2020 - Sports

NBA postpones Lakers vs. Clippers game following Bryant family deaths

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images.

The NBA announced Monday that it will postpone Tuesday's game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers out of respect for the loss of Gianna and Kobe Bryant.

The big picture: Bryant hosted a 20-year career with the Lakers. The Staples Center, where the Lakers play and where the game is set to be hosted, has become a mourning ground for his followers following the tragic helicopter crash Sunday that took his and his daughter Gianna's life, in addition to seven others. The game will be rescheduled at a later date.

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Keep ReadingArrowJan 28, 2020

"Heartbroken" LeBron James joins other stars in honoring Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

LeBron James said Monday he's "heartbroken" as he joined other stars in paying tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, a day earlier.

Details: James said at the start of his Instagram post, "I’m not ready but here I go. Man I sitting here trying to write something for this post but every time I try I begin crying again just thinking about you, niece Gigi and the friendship/bond/brotherhood we had! I literally just heard your voice Sunday morning before I left Philly to head back to LA. Didn't think for one bit in a million years that would be the last conversation we’d have."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Jan 28, 2020