Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 9:40 am  |  14 responses

David Stern Says Olympic Age Limit Decision is Not Urgent

There’s no rush when it comes to David Stern’s proposal to implement an age restriction of 23-and-younger for pros joining the US Olympic hoops team — one that has been highly-criticized and widely panned — according to the commish. Per USA Today: “USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Thursday that the sooner he knows the age rule for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the better. NBA Commissioner David Stern, on the other hand, is in no hurry to reach a conclusion on whether this will be the last Olympics for NBA players of all ages or whether men’s players 23-and-under will compete in future Olympics. ‘Nothing is definitive,’ Stern said. ‘All we’re talking about is the issue, having taken stock 20 years after Barcelona. What is the best way to continue the growth of the game on a global basis?’ He said he is not influenced by Los Angeles Lakers guard and Olympian Kobe Bryant’s recent comment that going to a 23-and-under format for Olympic men’s basketball would be ‘stupid.’ ‘This is not an urgent issue,’ said Stern, the NBA’s commissioner since 1984. ‘This is just an opportunity to have an intelligent conversation with our friends at FIBA (international basketball’s governing body).’”

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  • P

    what is stern’s reasoning or motive for wanting this change…?

  • da real

    Why don’t people get how good this will be for the NBA and basketball period. Send the top 10 veterans to the Basketball World Cup and the top young players to the Olympics. It helps the competitive balance and gives young players a chance to rep USA. Keep in mind that if we win every game it will get stale and people wont care anymore.

  • Hursty

    F that noise. ridiculous. The USA wouldnt even medal if that 23 and under rule is instituted…you arent helping the next crop of International players by subjecting them to subpar competition. and yes, a USA u23 team is subpar to an “open” team, dont get it twisted.

  • LA Huey

    I’m with da real.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    I doubt that watching what is basically a glorified all-star team destroy the world will ever get stale.

  • Hursty

    The whole point of the Olympics is to send the best you’ve got. Its why soccer and tennis are not regarded as prime competition during the Olympics. Because of the restrictions. Its like asking the Kenyans to stop sending their best long distance runners. Over 50 of them clocked A or B qualifying times but only 3 get sent per event. Becase theyre the best. Same with Australian swimmers (different criteria though).
    I dont believe the USA should be able to send a its against the spirit of the Olympics.youth team.

  • Anon e Mouse

    No rush because the Players Association will tell him where to stick his age restriction. You think Sternbot is gonna tell Lebron and the cream of the NBA that they can’t get a medal??? Now FIBA on the other hand…

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    The NBA would lose every year with the young bucks of the NBA. Lets just keep it real.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I actually think FIBA have the final say in this anyway and not Stern. So we’ll see what happens.

  • bdogg

    lord stern is a clown…he should be gone! did we anything from the paterno incident..he has been in power since 1984..it is time…he should be thrown out! thanks!

  • heartlandG

    somebody start a petition to FIRE dis muthaphucca

  • LLC#12

    I think GP23 is right about it being FIBA’s call. If every country instituted a 23 and under rule, and then the FIBA world championship was rebranded and promoted as being the basketball equivalent of the fifa world cup, maybe that could become the kind of juggernaught basketball spectacle other sports boast, whereas currently nobody outside of basketball ever hears about basketball at the olympics OR the FIBA world champs. If basketball could move towards its own heavily sponsored, watched, televised event then that can only be a good thing.

  • MasterSplinter

    Okay listen….. Apparently there are a lot of ignorant people who don’t look at the big picture, and dont truly understand basketball….If there was a 23 and under rule…. It works all the way around…. Brazil…. Russia…. Argentina… They are all built around experience. You Really think we wouldn’t win?…. Name me one international team that competes with the U.S. is built around young players…… Some people should not even bother commenting on this site…. You don’t have a clue what you are talking about. If that rule was put in effect….. We would murder Teams…. Buuuuuut, I do think we would need to change our age restriction for the NBA…. Look at the USA’s records for their USA basketball teams for 18 and under…..knowledge is key….some people on here just debate to debate…. JV and varsity bench I’m assuming………………. Yes I know…. Your embarrassed with your mediocre opinions.

  • The Truth

    1.) read the article. this rule would be for every country/
    2.) you need to learn a few things about David Stern’s thought process (and FIBA as well)
    3.) Right now you have two international tournaments that are NOT a big deal. The newly named FIBA World Cup (used to be the World Championships) and the Men’s Olympic basketball tournament.
    4.) For 20 years now the NBA has been well aware of its international television ratings in the top 30 media markets on the planet. Trust me, they are nothing to write home about and much lower than any American sports journalist- who never asks these questions- would speculate.

    The fact that the NBA doesn’t announce it’s international television rights deals should say something. If they were impressive we would know about them. If millions were watching in say, Brazil, we would know about that. The ratings exist; the advertisers demand that. Americans would be shocked at how little the NBA basically gives their rights away for.

    Now let’s look at this Olympic tournament in London. How do you feel the global ratings for this tournament will compare with the Euro 2012 soccer tournament that ended a month ago? Forget the World Cup! Don’t go there. I’m talking global ratings for the Euro against the Olympic tournament. We’re talking destruction. David Stern knows this. He also knows that the FIFA World Cup of soccer destroys a thousand times over the FIBA equivalent. I’m talking media rights and ratings, which exist. One issue is that this Olympic basketball tournament gets lost amidst 40 other sports and doesn’t get the attention a true World Cup would.

    But… would a basketball World Cup really get the globe’s attention?

    Evidence suggests not when you look at real ratings, right now. But you have to start somewhere.

    So Stern now understands that by downgrading the Olympics and only sending U-23′s, FIFA has essentially told the Olympic committee to go to hell. No other sport has that type of leverage, but Stern would like to try.

    The question is whether or not basketball is truly at the level yet to have a global MEGA event that the world fawns over with absurd ratings.

    Again, the NBA’s ratings and media rights are not very good around the world. A perfect example of expectations and reality were demonstrated four years ago during the 2008 Olympics when when NBA players were playing in prime time in China and the ratings failed to deliver big time. So much for all those Yao stories with “hundreds of millions watching” when USA-China loses out to weight lifting.

    Regardless, ratings are good of course since basketball is a major sport (in China) there of course but Stern wants to be compared to soccer. But globally, when compared to soccer properties like the Champions League, the EPL, and La Liga, (plus euro cup and World Cup qualifying), the NBA and international basketball in general gets blown away.

    Stern’s vision is the correct one for the growth of the game. Just give him some time.