by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

The subject of David Stern’s salary — now suddenly, and understandably, a hot button topic — is shrouded in mystery.

No one seems to know for sure how much the NBA commissioner rakes in (not even team owners), but the latest media reports indicate that Stern makes anywhere between $15 – $23 million annually.

With the lockout dragging along, some NBA players have begun to publicly criticize David Stern and his pay, citing the hypocrisy of the commish making so much yet asking the players to take massive pay cuts going forward.

Well, according to ESPN, Stern will not receive a dime during the current work stoppage:

NBA commissioner David Stern will not collect on his eight-figure salary during the ongoing lockout, according to sources with knowledge of Stern’s pay status. Amid growing tensions on both sides of a labor impasse that has lasted 33 days, with owners proposing sharp cuts in salary and contract lengths, and with no end in sight to the stalemate, Philadelphia 76ers center Spencer Hawes this week publicly questioned via Twitter why there have been “no rumblings about a pay cut for (Stern) while he asks every single player to do so.”

Stern has given no indication that he will agree to lower his salary when the sides ultimately do hammer out a new labor agreement that is expected to be far more restrictive for players. Yet sources confirmed Tuesday that, during the work stoppage, Stern will indeed pass on collecting a salary that, based on a New York Daily News report in February, has been estimated as high as $23 million annually. Although he has not publicly addressed the matter since the lockout commenced July 1, Stern said during All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles that he would not be paid.

Nice symbolic gesture on David Stern’s behalf, I suppose.

Though, of course, no one should expect him to get anything less than a significant pay raise once the NBA resumes business.