David Stern began his association with the National Basketball Association in 1966. The NBA of 1966 will never be confused with the NBA of February 1, 2014 when Stern retired after a 30 year reign as National Basketball Association commissioner. The NBA of 1966 still featured games played in non NBA city where a promoter threw a bunch of money at two teams and told the team owners come to our city and play. In the Stern NBA, that also happened but games played in on NBA cities where in places like London and Beijing. When Stern became the NBA Commissioner in 1984, the league was trying something new, a salary cap to rein in salaries and drug testing for players. The salary cap wasn't exactly new, it was tried decades earlier, the drug testing was new and was done partially to appease critics who thought the league was too black with too many drug users. By the end of the 1980s, the NBA was "fan-tastic" not because of Stern's brilliance as a marketer but because David Stern was smarter than everyone else in that he was able to use Michael Jordan's marketing team, some federal law changes and Ted Turner opening the door to the Soviet Union to grow his business. It worked and by the time Stern retired, basketball was the second most popular sport in the world.