"Well, sure, I was hoping people would freak out like they did about the possibility of the NFL missing games, but we're not the NFL," said Stern. "I'm just happy the news made it into most newspapers."
Fan messages posted on the league website, NBA.com, captured fan apathy.
"YES! The season should be no longer than 60 or 65 games anyway. Much better product that way," wrote LakeShow99.
"I couldn't care less, but at least now I won't feel compelled to watch awful, early-season games. So that's good," posted jkz123.
"Hello, everyone. Do you people know what hockey is? I invite you to watch it. There's a league called the NHL. They have uniforms and everything," wrote GaryBettmanOfficial.
Opinion NBA.com's Honest New Redesign
"I started working for the NBA because it was the only job I could get right out of law school, and I just ended up stuck here," Stern explained. "I mean, just because you're a manager at McDonald's, it doesn't mean you have to enjoy their crappy food, right?"
The commissioner was asked why he seems intent on destroying the NBA, rather than just stepping away from his position and the sport, and Stern continued to take shots at the sport and its players.
"If I just step down now, and end this lockout, doesn't that make me as much of a quitter as LeBron James," he asked. "So much quitting. And don't get me started on Michael Jordan. That guy STILL owes me money from all the bets he lost."
Stern, who's been an NBA employee for more than 30 years, said he once had a casual appreciation for the game of basketball, but years of being forced to watch games night after night broke him down. He cited the frequent horrendous play by his hometown New York Knicks as the final straw in his crusade to end basketball forever.
"Seriously, Isiah Thomas," Stern said. "Who thinks it's a good idea to keep going after that? Who would still like basketball? Anyone?! Exactly. Not one hand out there is raised right now."
"There are several top European leagues that have approached me about commissioning," said Stern. "And while I hope the lockout ends, I love commissioning and want to do it wherever there is a good opportunity."
And Stern might be just the first NBA front office executive to find other employment away from the NBA. Deputy commissioner Adam Silver is said to be weighing offers to deputy commission in Europe next season.
Stern is currently leaning towards being commissioner of the Turkish league, but will also open to offers from Italy and Israel. Yet while the commissioner insists he is serious about commissioning overseas and is set to sign a contract, many see his announcement as a ploy attempting counteract the growing trickle of NBA players to Europe.
The commissioner even acknowledges as much.
"Do I want to keep doing what I love, no matter where? Sure," said Stern. "But would it also be the biggest dick move ever, and also the crowning achievement of my career and my life, if all these NBA players go to Europe and then I just become the commissioner there and lock them out overseas, too? Definitely! I would be filled with joy."
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To Gary Bettman, that almost sounds like applause.
Scene:A Barnes and Noble store in Manhattan. Tim Donaghy sits behind a folding table signing copies of his NBA expose, "Personal Foul." A dozen or so customers stand in line waiting to have their books signed.