Flanked by Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Bill Russell, David Stern entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame promoting the NBA and deflecting attention from himself and his impact on the game of basketball and the league.

"I think the future is incredibly bright," the former commissioner said at the Springfield Symphony Hall on Friday night. "The reason I am here is because of thousands of people over the years who have done so much. The league is in spectacular shape going forward under the extraordinary leadership of Adam Silver."

Stern headlined a Hall of Fame class that included Alonzo Mourning, Mitch Richmond, Nolan Richardson, Gary Williams, Immaculata University's AIAW national championship teams of the early 1970s, Bob Leonard, Nat Clifton, Sarunas Marciulionis and Guy Rodgers.

Some of the game's biggest stars were on hand for the ceremony.

Stern oversaw the most successful period of the NBA's history and shepherded the league onto the global stage. He helped expand the game on the backbone of the NBA's star players, highlighted by the Dream Team's impact at the 1992 Olympics