National Basketball Association: David Stern (Commissioner)
Why this was a big quit:
Stern was commissioner of the NBA for 30 years. He grew the US league with 7 new teams, and expanded internationallly. Currently, NBA games are televised in 215 countries and various contests are played overseas. He also instituted major salary cap restructuring, a widely supported dress code, and revenue sharing in the league.
Why this is not as big as our Top 10:
Stern’s run as commissioner was as equally successful as it was painful. He was commissioner during four lockouts, which impacted thousands of jobs. Many believed he contributed to the lengthiness of at least 2 of the lockouts because he wanted to be viewed as the winner, instead of a compromiser. At times, criticism of Stern included favoring NBA owners over the fan base and players.