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Stern Anoints Silver As Next NBA Commissioner

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NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver answers questions at a press conference prior to All-Star Saturday Night during 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend at Amway Center on February 25, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. (credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

ORLANDO, Fla. (CBS SPORTS) - David Stern proclaimed Saturday night what has long been assumed but never confirmed: He will recommend deputy commissioner Adam Silver to succeed him as commissioner when he retires.

“One of the things that a good CEO does — and I try to be a good CEO — is provide his board with a spectacular choice for his successor,” Stern said during his annual All-Star news conference. “And I have done that. And that’s Adam.”

Stern, 69, reiterated what he said after the collective bargaining agreement saving a 66-game season after a 149-day lockout was finalized: He will not be commissioner when both sides have the opportunity to opt out of the deal in 2017. Beyond that, he placed no timetable on his departure, but said he would have the discussion with owners “very soon.”

Silver has been deputy commissioner and chief operating office since 2006 after serving for more than eight years as president and COO of NBA Entertainment. He has played a key role in negotiating the league’s last two broadcast rights agreements and the last four collective bargaining agreements with the National Basketball Players Association – and also created NBA China as a stand-alone entity. Silver, who also played a key role in delivering the league’s public message to the media during the lockout, was asked during Stern’s news conference how prepared he is for the job. He smiled and slid the microphone in front of Stern.

“He’s a first-rate, top-of-the-class executive,” Stern said.

Stern’s recommendation of Silver would have to be approved by the league’s Board of Governors.

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