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Adam Silver replaces David Stern, becomes NBA's fifth commissioner

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NEW YORK, N.Y. - Adam Silver has become the NBA's fifth commissioner.

The NBA posted a picture on its Twitter account Saturday of Silver holding a basketball and shaking hands with outgoing commissioner David Stern.

"It's official: Adam Silver succeeds David Stern as NBA Commissioner" the caption read.

Stern retired after exactly 30 years in charge, making him the NBA's longest-serving and most successful commissioner.

Silver joined the NBA as his assistant in 1992 and has been the deputy commissioner since 2006.

"It is a source of great satisfaction to me that the NBA will now be led by Commissioner Adam Silver, for whom I have tremendous admiration, respect and expectations as he and his experienced and dedicated team take the NBA to successes that were unimaginable even a short while ago," Stern wrote Friday in a thank you email to media members.

Stern announced he would retire on Oct. 25, 2012, and owners unanimously chose Silver as his successor. The NBA will now begin using balls with Silver's signature in games.

Like Stern, Silver left the legal field to join the NBA. Originally Stern's special assistant, he went on to become NBA Chief of Staff before running NBA Entertainment for about a decade before replacing Russ Granik as deputy commissioner in 2006.

Silver was the league's lead negotiator during the 2011 collective bargaining negotiations and seemed to be more Stern's partner than deputy in recent years.

"It's been David's show. Even up to the last meeting. But there has never been a question whether Adam was involved in every important decision," Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban wrote in an email.

The league's owners unanimously approved longtime league executive Mark Tatum's appointment as deputy commissioner this week.

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