Stern not present for Thursday's bargaining

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Stern not present for Thursday's bargaining

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."

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

Bradley's emergence as vocal leader speaks volumes about growth

BOSTON –  Terry Rozier was having a rough stretch where his minutes were limited and when he did play, he didn’t play particularly well.
 
Among the voices in his ear offering words of encouragement was Avery Bradley who knows all too well what Rozier was going through.
 
For all his time as a Celtic, Bradley has let his work on the floor do the talking for him.
 
But as the most tenured Celtic on the roster, his leadership has to be about more than just getting the job done, but servicing as a vocal leader as well.
 
For a player whose growth from one year to the next has been a constant, being a more vocal leader has been the one dynamic of his game that has improved the most during this past season.
 
And it is that kind of leadership that will carry into the summer what is a pivotal offseason for both Bradley and this Celtics franchise which was eliminated by Cleveland in the Conference finals, the first time the Celtics got that deep in the playoffs since 2012.
 
He is entering the final year of the four-year, $32 million contract he signed in 2014. And it comes at a time when his fellow Tacoma, Wash. native and backcourt mate Isaiah Thomas will likely hit free agency where he’s expected to command a max or near-max contract that would pay him an annual salary in the neighborhood of $30 million.
 
At this point in time, Bradley isn’t giving too much thought to his impending contract status.
 
Instead, he’s more consumed by finding ways to improve his overall game and in doing so, help guide the Celtics to what has to be their focus for next season – a trip to the NBA Finals.
 
While Celtics players have said their focus has always been on advancing as far into the playoffs as possible, it wasn’t until this past season did they actually provide hope and promise that Banner 18 may be closer than you think.
 
It was an emotional time for the Celtics, dealing with the unexpected death of Chyna Thomas, the younger sister of Isaiah Thomas, just hours before Boston’s first playoff game this season.
 
And then there were injuries such as Thomas’ right hip strain that ended his postseason by halftime of Boston’s Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland.
 
But through that pain, we saw the emergence of Bradley in a light we have seldom seen him in as a Celtic.
 
We have seen him play well in the past, but it wasn’t until Thomas’ injury did we see Bradley showcase even more elements of his game that had been overlooked.
 
One of the constant knocks on Bradley has been his ball-handling.
 
And yet there were a number of occasions following Thomas’ playoff-ending injury, where Bradley attacked defenders off the dribble and finished with lay-ups and an occasional dunk in transition.
 
Among players who appeared in at least 12 playoff games this year, only Washington’s John Wall (7.9), Cleveland’s LeBron James (6.8) and Golden State’s Stephen Curry (5.2) averaged more points in transition than Bradley (4.7).
 
Bradley recognized the team needed him to be more assertive, do things that forced him to be more front-and-center which is part of his evolution in Boston as a leader on this team.
 
“It’s weird but players like Al (Horford) definitely helped me get out of my shell and pushed me this year to be more of a vocal leader,” Bradley said.
 
And that talent combined with Bradley doing what he does every offseason – come back significantly better in some facet of his game – speaks to how he’s steadily growing into being a leader whose actions as well as his words are impactful.