David Stern would like to make Olympics basketball teams 23-and-under
If you enjoy watching all your favorite NBA players compete in the Olympics, you better get your fix in this summer because you may not get to see them play for gold medals in the future if David Stern has his way.
The NBA commissioner said on the radio this week that he would prefer to have a system like soccer where basketball at the Olympics is restricted to athletes under 23 years old.
“My own view is that post-London, we should be thinking about what soccer does and make it 23 and under,” Stern told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd on Monday.
Stern was asked if the NBA encourages players to compete in the Games and said no.
“No, we stay out of it. The problem is that it’s so (ingrained) into the international players that they just always play. And so we were contemplating, even back in the day when we thought we maybe wouldn’t allow NBA players to go, that would have deprived us of Yao Ming because the Chinese government never would have let him come to play (in the NBA). And the international players were going anyway. So then it would apply only to American players? So we found ourselves in a bit of an interesting dilemma with the whole thing.”
Stern is most likely in favor of age restrictions because it’s better for his business in many senses. He’s the NBA commissioner. Don’t you think he wants exclusive control of the best basketball product in the world? He knows business is hurt if stars are injured in the Olympics, so by restricting it to 23-and-under, you’re sending players who are less established, but still exposing the world to high-quality basketball.
Just take a look at Eye on Basketball’s hypothetical Team USA roster if it were limited to players under 23:
PG: Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, John Wall
SG: James Harden, Tyreke Evans, Stephen Curry
SF: Kevin Durant, Thaddeus Young
PF: Kevin Love, Blake Griffin
C: Greg Monroe, DeMarcus Cousins
That’s still a darn good squad, and one that could easily compete for a gold medal.
We know one thing: Mark Cuban would be ecstatic if the change were made.