The NBA’s 10 Most Influential People

By: 04.18.12
David Stern

David Stern

2. LeBron James: He’s the best player on the planet and its most talked about, too. Say LeBron in almost any country and you could find someone who knows the name and what it connotes. Freak athlete? Choker? It doesn’t really matter, it’s that you know him. He’s still arguably the league’s most marketable athlete with Kobe Bryant waning, and fans pour out to see him on the road.

1. David Stern: He’s not out the door, yet, which means he still wields enormous power. In the job since 1984, it doesn’t take much to have the NBA’s board agree with him. Until this week, he owned a team (New Orleans) by default (literally) and that allowed him to veto the Chris Paul trade, which in turn kept the Lakers from acquiring Dwight Howard. It could have kept the Lakers a viable threat for best, most publicized, and most profitable franchise for a decade. He runs the joint.

Who is your No. 1?

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