NBA's David Stern was an 'intern' at this venture capital firm

Greycroft chairman emeritus Alan Patricof remembers his friend

Greycroft chairman emeritus Alan Patricof recalled his professional relationship with David Stern, the legendary former NBA commissioner who died Wednesday.

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Stern came to work for Greycroft after he retired from his role with the NBA.

"He is going to be sorely missed by a lot of people."

- Alan Patricof, Greycroft chairman emeritus

"I don't want to portray it too strongly, I mean, we didn't pay him," Patricof joked. "I think he was just intrigued with the idea. I happened to meet him at the right time ... He hadn't figured out what he was going to do afterwards, and I said 'Why don't you come and join us on a regular basis every Monday morning, and we'll sit and talk'."

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As a joke, Patricof suggested Stern order business cards that called him an "intern."

Former NBA commissioner David Stern's business card while at Greycroft.

"Everyone at the firm thought I was crazy, but David loved to carry it around," Patricof said. "And, of course, he really was a special adviser to the firm, and it was very helpful, not just in sports, but in companies that required real managerial talent."

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Stern stepped down from running the league in 2014 after a 30-year run overseeing explosive growth in the popularity of the game and league revenues.

Former NBA Commissioner David Stern (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)

DAVID STERN BUILT NBA INTO $5B GLOBAL POWERHOUSE

Stern guided the basketball league into its most lucrative era: In 1983, the NBA’s revenues totaled $118 million. In 209, the league topped $8 billion.

"I don't want to portray it too strongly, I mean, we didn't pay him."

- Alan Patricof, Greycroft chairman emeritus

Patricof said Stern also gave "insightful" and "responsive" viewpoints on things.

"The thing I liked best about him was if he didn't know something, he would ask the dumb questions which everybody else wanted to ask, but they didn't have the guts to do it," Patricof said.

Alan Patricof of Greycroft

Patricof said Stern became a venture capitalist, investing in companies alongside Greycroft.

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"I couldn't contain his enthusiasm for some of these companies," Patricof recalled. "I'm interested to see what that portfolio is going to look like."

Stern passed nearly three weeks after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was 77.

DAVID STERN, FORMER NBA COMMISSIONER, DEAD AT 77

"He is going to be sorely missed by a lot of people," Patricof said.

FOX Business' Thomas Barrabi contributed to this report.