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.

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How David Stern’s ‘Basketball Reasons’ Changed the Future of Lakers and Clippers

So the NBA has returned; and, fittingly, controversy has not been too far behind. While the nuances of the new collective bargaining agreement continue to be disseminated to a non-legalese American public hell-bent on recording leagues games without the express written consent of the National Basketball Association, the ease of off-the-court maneuvering once taken for granted has now become harder to understand than a sentence from Metta World Peace. (Exactly.) Time was a superstar could be unloaded in a three-way trade, and there would be something to write about. The rosters of three teams would change and intrigue would build. It seems that, under the auspices of the league’s new CBA, it would probably be easier to complete a three-team deal involving the Corleones, Tattaglias, and the Barzinis, and the resulting massacre wouldn’t be half as bad as Godfather III.

If it’s one thing LA knows about it is high drama, which has nothing to do with how many medical marijuana dispensaries exist in the city and how easy it is to get diagnosed with fantasy football-related delusions of grandeur in order to get a prescription. The most recent piece of Hollywood cum Greek tragedy involved the now-infamous trade of Chris Paul. Of course, if this were turned into a script there might be a problem in central casting trying to fill the role of Goran Dragic.

It had appeared that Paul was on his way to the Lakers in a three-team deal that would have sent Pau Gasol to Houston; Lamar Odom, Luis Scola, Goran Dragic, and a Kmart franchise — or maybe Kevin Martin — to New Orleans. It was a done deal. Websites already posted pictures of CP3 wearing purple and gold.

Then it wasn’t.

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Deron Williams Calls David Stern a ‘Bully’ for Blocking Trades

After a tumultuous week that saw Chris Paul traded to the Lakers, then denied for “basketball reasons,” Deron Williams summed up what a lot of players and fans were probably thinking about the NBA’s commissioner.

“You’re fighting a bully,” Williams said according to the NY Daily News. “David Stern is a bully, you can’t really go up against him. He knows he’s a bully. It’s no secret. You got to be. I think every owner of every big business is a bully. That’s how they become successful.”

Maybe the fact that Williams is right in the middle of the Dwight Howard trade talks is what caused the Nets star point guard to sound off. Calling Stern a “bully” is pretty tame when you consider the hailstorm of criticism Stern has faced from the media, but unlike journalists Williams is an NBA player. If he’s right about Stern being a bully, the NBA might be sending him a fine very soon. Stern has had no qualms about being the bad guy lately. Rarely have we ever seen the commissioner of any sport hog the spotlight the way Stern has.

Bryant Gumbel: David Stern Is Eager to be Viewed as a ‘Plantation Overseer’

Bryant Gumbel received attention five years ago when he suggested NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue had players association leader Gene Upshaw on a leash. Now he’s going after another leader in a sports labor debate: NBA commissioner David Stern.

In his closing monologue on HBO Real Sports Tuesday, Gumbel charged Stern with holding up progress in NBA labor talks. He also said Stern views himself as a plantation owner who presides over the players like they’re hired help.

Here is his entire monologue, as transcribed by Ben Golliver at Eye on Basketball (with video below).

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David Stern Quietly Warns Stan Van Gundy to Shut Up

Orlando Magic coach Stan Van Gundy has never been afraid to speak his mind. If he thinks a player took a flop, he lets everyone know about it.  When he takes issue with the way suspensions are handed out in the postseason, Stan rants about that, too.  After hearing his most recent comments, the Commish has decided he’s heard enough of Stan the Man.

When Dwight Howard was suspended on Monday for racking up 16 technical fouls already this season, Van Gundy expressed his displeasure with the league’s failure to protect his big man, saying Howard is fouled excessively. He then took a direct shot at David Stern. “This is the system David Stern and his minions like,” Van Gundy said. “So that’s the system you have. … I certainly can’t have an opinion because David Stern, like a lot of leaders we’ve seen in this world lately, don’t really tolerate other people’s opinion or free speech or anything. So I’m not really allowed to have an opinion. So it’s up to him.”

Obviously you can’t go around saying things like that about your boss, but Stern could have been a bit less pompous with the response he gave on Colin Cowherd’s The Herd on ESPN Radio. “I would render a guess … that we won’t be hearing from him for the rest of the season,” Stern told Cowherd. “When he stops and reads what he said and realizes what he did, he will say no more. I have a feeling that some modicum of self-restraint will cause Stan and the team for which he works to rein in his aberrant behavior.”

In other words: fear me.  Stern is basically bragging that he’s so powerful he doesn’t even need to take action.  Once Van Gundy realizes what he said and the Magic make note of it, he’ll be cowering so badly he won’t dare say it again.  In sum, I see this as one of those cases where both men are a little right and both are a little wrong.  And both are being dicks.

Donald Sterling Reportedly Said He Wanted to Fire David Stern

Right now we’re going to be taking a trip in the way back machine, but it should be fun. According to Mark Heisler of the LA Times, about a year or so ago at an owners meeting in Las Vegas, Commissioner David Stern (who in case you didn’t know, is employed by the owners), asked Clippers owner Donald Sterling for his opinion on a subject.

Heisler says three sources told him Sterling said “OK, I would fire you. You’re great at marketing, but you’re not tough enough with the union.”

And the legend continues. This coming from the same guy who heckles his own players and supposedly has no regard for their privacy. Given the league’s potential lockout looming, I’m guessing he’s not the only owner who feels that way, but should we be surprised by his reported brashness? We’ve learned to know better than that. Something tells me the long-standing curse over the franchise is not a coincidence (not that it matters to him since he’s making all the money).

NBA Trying to Prevent Players from Calling the Shots

I don’t know if Danny Ainge started the whole “super team” era or not by getting Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen to join Paul Pierce in Boston three years ago, but it seems like it’s starting to become a problem for Commissioner David Stern and the NBA.  Since the beginning of NBA free agency about a month ago, it has seemed like players have been able to say whatever they want to whoever they want and somehow get away with it.  The league is shifting from one where GMs are responsible for constructing championship teams to a league where players decide they want to team up with their buddies and find a way to make it happen.  That’s how the Miami Heat built their all-star filled roster, right?

According to an ESPN report, the NBA released a memo on Wednesday reminding teams to adhere to the tampering rules set in place by the league.  What was uncharacteristic about the reminder is that they named a particular player and team, something that is rarely ever done in a situation such as this:

The memo, circulated Tuesday by the league office, states that “no team should be having communications with Chris Paul or his agent or representative about a potential trade for Paul that have not been authorized in advance by the New Orleans Hornets.”

The memo, sources said, also threatens to punish any such communications with penalties that range from “suspension of the offending person, prohibition of the offending team from hiring the person being tampered with, forfeiture of draft picks and individual and/or team fines of up to $5 million.”

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