The NBA All-Star Game is right around the corner. But one person who isn't expected to be in attendance is David Stern.
Stern, the NBA's longtime commissioner, is slated to relinquish his post on Feb. 1. In an attempt to avoid taking the spotlight from new commissioner Adam Silver, Stern will stay away from New Orleans for the All-Star Game and its festivities, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:
Throughout his tenure as commissioner—one that spanned 30 years—Stern helped the NBA grow to towering heights.
When he started in 1984, NBA Finals games were tape delayed and the league was floundering. Now, regular-season NBA games are being watched in real time throughout the world.
On the one hand, it would only be fitting that Stern be present in New Orleans to ceremoniously hand the reins of the league over to Silver. On the other hand, the commissioner, despite his power, has never been about personal publicity.
What he'll be doing in lieu of heading to the All-Star Game is unknown. Stern has yet to publicly comment on the matter, or provide much insight into what he'll be doing once he steps down, other than to say he's not retiring, which he made clear at his final press conference:
Right now I have decidedly refrained from making plans. I think on Feb. 2 I’m still going to be taking all of the junk that I moved out of my office and deciding how much of it to keep, how much of it to dump on Adam’s doorstep and how much to throw out, so I’ve got a fair amount of work to do, and I’m planning to do some skiing before I get to that, and then we’ll see.
After all the work he's put in over the years, Stern's definitely earned a vacation. Although, it'd be nice if part of that vacation included a trip to New Orleans for the All-Star Game.