In 1984; David Stern took over a "semi-struggling" league that under his direction became very popular. But, did he really do anything at all? This was the dawning of the "Air" and "Dream" era with Patrick Ewing bringing the Knicks back to life; and stars like Magic and Bird were still around and would be for a few more years. You could argue that Stern created a new buzz with the promotion of these "stars". But; Stern didn't change anything other than that and never gave any inclination that bringing stars together on one team was a good idea.
If you would like to argue that having a dominate team was healthy for the league because of the "King of the Hill" scenario; you would get no argument from me. But what the league has never had until now was a "grouping" of stars. Each great player desired to take their team to the top by making the fringe stars and role players around them better (See Hakeem Olajuwon). In the early 80's you would never see Magic and Bird wanting to team up. They wanted to lead their teams to the top. Jordan needed "Robin to his Batman" in Scottie Pippen, but at no time did you ever hear about Isaiah Thomas and Jordan "plotting" to join forces. There has been some parity in basketball that is healthy. Yes, the Lakers, Celtics and Bulls have been dominate forces; but there was always some upstart team with a young star on the rise giving them some problems (i.e. Rockets, Knicks, Pacers and Pistons). That was possible because stars didn't join forces.
With the situation that we have today and the "cowards way" of obtaining success in the NBA; Stern has lost the perspective of competitive equality. James/Wade/Bosh is just one of the examples of this in place and David Stern has started one more in L.A. by manipulating the trade of Chris Paul to play with Blake Griffin. Stern is forming a league of a few dominate teams/cities (NY, LA, Miami and Chicago) where the "stars go" and the TV money flows. The rest of the league will be filler teams for the "studs" to beat up. Certainly there will be the occasional uprising and mistakes that will lead to "the others" going deep into the playoffs. But that will be the exception more than the rule.
David Stern is doing whatever he can do to ensure that whichever network wins the multi-billion dollar bid for "The Finals" does not have to endure a championship series between television markets the size of Indiana and Portland ever again.