NBA commissioner David Stern has been the primary figure in every collective bargaining negotiation of this lockout. It's difficult to conceive of anything happening without his presence. How would the sides discuss anything if he weren't even there to control everything?
Thursday, we will find out. As announced by deputy commish Adam Silver at a press conference, Stern will miss Thursday's meetings with flu-like symptoms. Which probably means he went crazy Wednesday night at a dozen or so New York bars. You wouldn't think it, but Stern is a real party animal.
Stern's flu is now the second-most famous instance in NBA history, right behind Michael Jordan's legendary 38-point "Flu Game" in Game 5 of the 1997 Finals against the Jazz. Chances are that Stern won't return to negotiations Thursday afternoon and solve every problem on the table, but we can all hope for his MJ equivalent.
Or, who knows, maybe Stern just wanted a day off from the daily drudgery of meeting with the players' union and telling certain owners that their demands are too restrictive even as negotiation ploys. Sometimes, a man just needs to kick back, stay at home, and watch reruns of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills." That Maloof sister is crazy!