He said the statute of limitations has expired when it comes to the machinations that drew James, Wade and Bosh together.
"I think that players who are able to move from team to team because they are free agents, having played under their contracts, their rookie extension, whatever it is, and find a team that is managed well enough to be under the cap, so that it can acquire more than one player, I think that's fine," Stern said.
"And the Heat are an interesting and fun team, so they engender a lot of enthusiasm and following."
The irony was that Stern's first post-lockout appearance came in a game where both owners voted against the new CBA, with Dallas' Mark Cuban one of the four other owners besides Arison who cast a no vote.
"I think Micky cast it because the revenue sharing has some quirks to it that he didn't appreciate and Mark, too," Stern said. "But that's fine. Mark was an important contributor on the labor-relations committee and on the planning committee that yielded the result."
Of Arison, who acknowledged he voted against the deal only after he knew it had already received the required majority, Stern said, "It doesn't send any signal whatsoever."
Then there was Stern's take on James, who insisted his goal this season is to go from polarizing figure to one simply playing for the joy of the game.
"I see a level of acceptance and maturity that is fun to watch somebody grow," Stern said. "He's clearly saying he might have said a few things differently, etc., and he's going to let his talent do the talking for him.
"And I think that's pretty exciting, because he's got some pretty exciting talent. We're happy for him."
On other matters, Stern said he does not see a need for a "franchise" tag in the NBA because the more-stringent luxury tax that kicks in two seasons from now will provide a drag on the market.
"A team that goes into the tax in year three with a $20 million player is going to pay $45 million in tax money," he said. "We'll see who does that."
He also downplayed the recent push for trades from impending free agents, such as Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
"If a player has played a number of years in the league, seven, eight, and he says, 'I don't want to re-sign in this particular city. I have a different choice,' it doesn't concern us at all that he has that option," Stern said. "This league has embraced free agency and has for decades, and that's fine with us."