Aside from me being a Kobe Bryant fan, you all have to agree, even Miami Heat fans, calling David Stern’s idea “stupid” is right. NBA commissioner David Stern has proposed the idea of implementing an “age cap” on USA Olympic Basketball. And yes, Kobe spoke for all of us when he said this was “stupid”:
“It’s a stupid idea. It should be a (player’s) choice. … Basically, it’s just a dumb idea and we (discuss) it that way. … We just discuss it like that (and) kind of voice our opinions through you (media) guys.”
This idea is a replica of what FIFA does. They enforce the 23 and under rule for the Olympics. David Stern’s deputy commissioner Adam Silver said this:
“We think international soccer has an excellent model and in the case of soccer, of course, there’s the World Cup of football, which is the biggest sporting event in the world every four years, and then in the off-years, for the World Cup, they play, in essence, with some exceptions, a 23-and-under competition at the Olympics, (deputy commissioner) (Adam) Silver said.”
Naturally, we all want to think that Stern has a rational reason for this, right? Kinda…. According to bleacher report.com David Stern wants to increase the popularity of the World Cup of Basketball, which would require no age limit to play. Without our stars on an international platform, how can we measure their greatness and have them represent our love for basketball across the globe by kicking butt? Moreso, under the age of 23, you know how many great players that removes? Bryant, James, Wade, Anthony, and Paul, which leaves only Westbrook, Durant, Love, Harden, Davis and Griffin. That leaves spaces for inexperienced players and a chance to not be able to compete at a competitive level.
But never doubt David Stern or the NBA owners that they would do anything that wouldn’t be beneficial to them, because theres always a silver lining, or in this case green. From Tim McGarry of USA Today, NBA owners don’t receive a dime from the Olympics and if Sterns proposition was put into place, owners would receive a share of the World Cup of Basketballs revenue. With Blake Griffin out with a knee injury, money isn’t the only thing owners feel the need to protect, their star players and their health for the basketball season. The wear and tear on the players are a major concern, especially from Mark Cuban.
The disappointment of not seeing our stars rise and take pride in American basketball, in one of the Summer Olympics most popular competitions, would be a major let down. Bringing home the gold is what we strive for in the Olympics and hindering a chance of respect from the international community for money, is said to be what most countries already think about Americans, pure greed.