David Stern has been working late nights this week, as the NBA negotiations with federal mediator George Cohen have stretched into 15- and 16-hour days. The commish is beleaguered and tired and now he has the flu. Deputy commissioner Adam Silver told the press today that Stern would be "an active participant" in the afternoon's bargaining session, "even though he will not be there in person."

We wish him a speedy recovery, and we share with you this, from a June 8 AP story:

Dirk Nowitzki lingered on the bench during timeouts, waiting for the horn to sound before getting up. When he made a key shot, he walked back on defense without so much as nodding in celebration.

He was sick. A sinus infection left him coughing and wheezing, his temperature spiking to 101 degrees. At tip-off, he was still worn out from hardly sleeping the night before.

Somehow, he managed the energy to play Game 4 of the NBA finals.

And, like a flu-ridden Michael Jordan in Game 5 of the 1997 finals, he still managed to lead his team to a pivotal victory.

Stern sent home with the flu, will miss Thursday bargaining session with players [AP]