NBA Commissioner Emeritus David Stern suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage on Thursday and underwent emergency surgery, the NBA said in a statement. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Stern collapsed at the Brasserie 1/2 restaurant in Manhattan and was rushed to the hospital.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with David and his family," the league said in its statement.
The 77-year-old Stern was the league's commissioner for a record 30 seasons, overseeing the league through a rapid period of growth.
He started with the NBA as outside counsel in 1966, before working his way up to commissioner, taking over for Larry O'Brien in 1984.
Stern oversaw the Magic Johnson/Larry Bird 1980s, the Michael Jordan 1990s, the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James 2000s and, along the way, was a driving force of the game's global expansion.
During his tenure, the NBA has added seven franchises, the WNBA and the D-League (now G League).
In 2014, Stern passed the commissioner reins to Adam Silver.
He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame that same year.