David Stern's handshake is a very powerful thing.
It grants entry into a highly exclusive club, makes lifelong dreams reality and conveys immense wealth to those smart enough and dedicated enough to take full advantage of what comes after it.
With few exceptions, every player who has made a meaningful impact in the NBA over the past 30 years did so after a draft-day handshake with Stern—the man who took an occasionally televised domestic sport and turned it into an internationally ubiquitous sensation that has penetrated every market on Earth.
Stern will retire from his post as commissioner next month. When he does, he'll leave behind a legacy of immense success. More importantly, he'll walk away from a league that is in exponentially better shape than it was the day he inherited it.
One handshake at a time, Stern built the NBA into what it is today.