Stern not present for Thursday's bargaining

Stern not present for Thursday's bargaining
October 20, 2011, 6:32 pm
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NEW YORK If the NBA and the players union somehow reach an agreement on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement today, it'll likely be done without NBA commissioner David Stern in the room.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver said Stern was sent home with flu-like symptoms, and was not expected to be at the bargaining sessions this afternoon with the players union.

Although Silver is the chief negotiator for the NBA in these talks, it's highly unlikely that the league would come to terms on a new deal without Stern around.

However, Silver added that despite Stern not being physically in the bargaining session, he would very much remain in the loop on the proceedings.

"He'll be fully engaged with the committee, led by (San Antonio Spurs owner) Peter Holt," Silver said. "And so he will be an active participant even though he won't be there in person."

Apparently Stern's illness was not something that came about suddenly.

"His symptoms were not helped by the fact that we had several late nights this week," Silver said.

On Tuesday, the league and players union met for more than 16 hours, and turned around to continue talks just eight hours later in yet another marathon bargaining session that lasted more than eight hours.

In between those talks were meetings among the NBA's Board of Governors who are in town this week for their annual meetings.

"I think he just got a little worn down," Silver said. "But again, he's still very active in this process. I'm sure he'll be addressing our committee by conference call when we reconvene today."

As far as Thursday's Board of Governors meeting, Silver said there was a "robust" discussion on revenue sharing.

"The revenue sharing discussions are on a parallel track with the CBA (Collective Bargaining Agreement) negotiations," said Silver, who was limited in what he could say due to the gag order imposed by federal mediator George Cohen. "We hope to wrap that up around the same time. Part of the issue is, that in order to complete revenue-sharing discussions, we need to know where we are going to come out, more precisely, CBA, BRI-split in particular. Both are dependent on each other."