The NBA will have to appoint a new commissioner after the sudden and tragic death of David Stern due to an assassin’s bullet. Reportedly, the murder was arranged by Nets’ Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov who presumably used his contacts in the Russian mafia to have Stern “taken out” for not forcing Otis Smith and the Magic to trade Dwight Howard to New Jersey by the trade deadline last week.

Thursday morning, Howard agreed to waive the early termination option of his contract to stay with the Magic one more season. It was widely assumed that the Nets would get Howard via trade or sign him this off-season in free agency, but none of this will happen right now.

“David Stern make Chris Paul go to Clippers, why not make Dwight Howard go to Nets?” a distraught Prokhorov said at his federal sentencing in Newark Sunday. “Me and Jay-Z want to have Dwight Howard on Nets but Stern wouldn’t let us do that. He deserved to die for the trouble he caused this organization. I feel no remorse for the assassination I set up.”

After the deadline passed with Howard not being on the Nets, reports surfaced that the notoriously rough-and-tough Prokhorov would have to make a defiant act to get his point across. That point was clearly felt as everyone involved in the NBA knows not to mess with the six-foot-eight billionaire from Russia. Stern was 250 years old at the time of his death and had been the NBA commish for all but 10 of those years. Those close to him were very sorry to see him go.