David Stern
David Stern feels players would be better suited playing an extra year in college before jumping to the NBA. Reuters

David Stern has a cold.

The NBA commissioner is sick of the NBA lockout and sick of the negotiations and labor talks that have come with it in the past few weeks.

But he actually is sick in a health sense, too, NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver told reporters in New York on Thursday. Silver said Stern was ailing with the flu and was sent home by his doctor.

Stern would not be able to participate in person during Thursday afternoon talks between owners and players. He would still, though, be working by phone and communicating as an active participant of the talks.

He's still actively working at home, my BlackBerry buzzing on my waist as we speak, said Silver.

I'm sure David's flu was not helped, his symptoms were not helped by the fact that we had several late nights this week, Silver said. I know the various members of the media who've been there with us as well, so it's been a long week for anybody, but particularly with our Board of Governors meetings and negotiations, and he just got a little bit worn down.

Stern was present, though, during a news conference after the NBA Board of Governors meeting. He told reporters then that the possibility of a full, 82-game schedule was unclear. The first two weeks of the NBA season were already canceled last week.

In attempts to end the lockout and salvage the 2011-12 NBA season, owners and players held talks with federal mediator George Cohen for 16 hours on Tuesday. They didn't end talks until approximately 2 a.m. Eight hours later, they were back for another 8 1/2 hours of talks.

Stern did leave open the possibility of a full schedule still being played, even in the wake of the first two weeks' cancellation. But Silver told reporters that would be difficult, simply because arenas have already begun replacing the dates of those canceled NBA games with other events.

There's no doubt that once we come to an agreement with the players' association, we will have a common interest in putting together as complete a schedule as possible, and whether or not an 82-game schedule is still possible is unclear to me, Silver said. As David has said previously, we've just lost part of the calendar. I think that's part of the pressure on both sides.

The NBA lockout entered its 112th day Thursday.