Understanding Brain Hemorrhages And NBA Commissioner David Stern’s Lasting Impact


The sports world is in mourning today after the announcement of legendary National Basketball League Commissioner David Stern’s passing on Wednesday. According to the NBA, at the age of 77 Mr. Stern passed away following a brain hemorrhage he suffered in December. The loss is being felt throughout the league, and around the world.

On December 12, 2019 Stern collapsed at a restaurant on West 57th Street in Manhattan. He was reportedly rushed to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital after a 911 call was placed for suspected cardiac arrest. On December 17, the NBA announced on behalf of the Stern family that the former commissioner was in serious condition following an emergency surgery.

While much is known about the incomparable career of Mr. Stern during his 30-year tenure in the NBA (more below), very little has been shared about his medical care or the difficult surgery and recovery following his major operation. After releasing information that Mr. Stern had in fact suffered from a brain hemorrhage (or bleeding on the brain) little was shared about his ongoing progress. Several writings between December and now have conflated potential heart problems with brain hemorrhaging. But it’s important to understand how common these events are, and what exactly a brain hemorrhage is.

The Truth About Brain Hemorrhage 

A brain hemorrhage is a type of stroke, caused by a blood vessel in the brain rupturing or leaking, causing localized bleeding in the surrounding areas. Brain hemorrhages can also be referred to as cerebral hemorrhages, intracranial hemorrhages, or intracerebral hemorrhages – ultimately meaning that bleeding is happening within or around the brain. And it is estimated that they account for about 10-20% of strokes. (Strokes are the fifth-leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S.)