Apr 23, 2010, 1:18 PM EDT
When David Stern took over as commissioner of the NBA, Ronald Regan was an active president not an airport. Apple had just introduced the first Macintosh, not the iPad. Footloose was a brand new movie, not a musical. Larry Bird (the player not the team president) would lead his Celtics over Magic Johnson (the player not the team owner) and the Lakers in the NBA Finals.
It has been 26 years. He has been commissioner through the Bad Boys and Air Jordan and Shaq and Kobe, then Shaq and Wade, then Shaq and LeBron. It has been a long time. And he told Stephen A. Smith on his radio he can see the end.
“I tell you what, I am going to go out on a limb for this one, I think that it is fair to say that this is my last roundup, ok? No question about it, in terms of collective bargaining. Of course we don’t know what length of the deal coming out of here but I am telling you that it is going to be a longer time than I am going to be in the NBA.”
If one thing will take years off the life of an NBA Commissioner, it is not Rasheed Wallace vs. the Referees, it is collective bargaining.
It is weird to think of the NBA without Stern as commissioner. No offense to Adam Silver — he rocks the second round and all — but it feels wrong. Just like picturing a retired Stern relaxing beside a pool at his condo in Florida is just wrong. And a little disturbing, actually