NBA commissioner David Stern won't be the only missing face from the league's power structure when he vacates his position next February.
Stu Jackson, Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations, will reportedly beat Stern out of the door:
Via @NBAPR, Stu Jackson will step down effective August 1st, Rod Thorn named President, Basketball Operations— The NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) July 10, 2013
The league confirmed the move in an official press release on Wednesday. In the release, Stern gave Jackson a glowing public send off:
Stu has made enormous contributions to the NBA over the past 13 years. He informed Adam Silver, Joel Litvin and me some months ago that after a long and distinguished career at the league he felt that this was the appropriate time to step down. We thank Stu for a job very well done, including assisting with the transition to Rod, and wish him the best in his future endeavors.
Jackson's public duties included levying fines and suspensions for players' on-court transgressions. His responsibilities also included scheduling, game rules and conduct.
Thorn has served 14 years in the league office and his basketball resume also includes an eight year playing career, coaching stops with the St. Louis Spirits of the ABA and the Chicago Bulls and front-office duties with the Bulls, New Jersey Nets and Philadelphia 76ers.
Thorn served as Chicago's general manager when the team snagged Hall of Famer Michael Jordan with the third pick in the 1984 draft. Thorn also took home Executive of the Year honors for his work as the Nets GM in the 2001-02 season.
Both Stern and Jackson signed off on Thorn's ability to handle his new responsibilities.
Jackson said the league "couldn't be in better hands with Rod coming in to lead basketball operations." Stern added that Thorn's "basketball knowledge and team relationships are unparalleled" and said that the NBA is "fortunate that his talents are available to serve the league at this time."