David Stern replied " No way" when asked if Ron Artest would be allowed to come back for the playoffs.
Stern acknowledged that he had considered shortening Artest's suspension.
"At a certain point in the last week or two we decided the most important thing here is Ron's return to the NBA and the best path for that is through a program in which he's now engaged," Stern told The Star.
After leaving the door open for Ron Artest's possible return to the NBA this season, commissioner David Stern closed off that possibility on Monday.
"Our goal is to do everything we possibly can to ensure Ron's return to the NBA next season is as smooth as it can possibly be," Stern told The Indianapolis Star.
"There's a lot of things we're participating in to that end and we're confident he'll be back as a contributing member of the Pacers and the NBA next season."