Wednesday, July 18th, 2012 at 10:25 am  |  35 responses

Kobe Bryant Thinks David Stern’s Olympic Age Limit Idea is Stupid

David Stern would like to cap the age of NBA players hooping in the Summer Olympics at 23. The idea hasn’t gained much traction among players, chief among them Kobe Bryant, who came out and flatly called the proposal “stupid”. From Reuters: “It’s a stupid idea, stupid,’ Bryant, 33, told reporters on Tuesday ahead of Team USA’s Olympic friendly against Britain on Thursday. ‘It should be a (player’s) choice.’ NBA team owners are understood to be concerned about the greater potential for injuries and fatigue suffered by the top players while they represent their national teams during the league’s off season. But Bryant, a five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers and a member of the U.S. team that won gold at the 2008 Olympics, feels anything but the world’s best players is not acceptable when it comes to international competition. ‘The Olympics is really about putting the best athletes out there to compete against the best. That’s what it’s about, put the best out there,’ said Bryant. ‘From a basketball standpoint, (an age limit) would lessen the Olympics, absolutely.’ [...] Bryant smiled when asked if he could understand owners looking out to protect players from injury while participating in competition outside of the NBA. ‘No, it’s to protect their investments,’ said Bryant. ‘When you look at guys who are injured here, they have treatment around the clock. We have the best training staff, we have the professional coaches who are here monitoring us. If our owners or NBA coaches want to contact us and see how we’re doing, they can easily come to practice, they can easily talk to the training staff – as opposed to guys disappearing for the summer and coming back overweight.’ [...] ‘You see guys, when they come back from playing on a team like this, they go into the new (NBA) season with the ultimate confidence,’ said Chris Paul. ‘It’s better than being at home just working out and playing ball. You get to play against the best players in the world.’”

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  • pposse

    so only 23 and under ball players can compete in the olympics? Soo, pretty much David Stern is okay with not bringing home the gold medal every olympic year?

  • Riggs

    david stern doesnt care about the olympics now. He did when he had to expand global marketing of the NBA, now that he’s accomplished that to some extent, the US losing gold will only help him establish another “Redeem Team”. Evil Genius.

  • LA Huey

    Chris Paul’s got a good point. Might be worth the investment. Kobe’s point about cats coming into camp overweight is moot because the kinda guys that make the Olympics aren’t the ones you worry about getting fat in the summer (Boris Diaw excluded)

  • Zabbah

    I don’t think it’s stupid. Right now the Olympics and the FIBA World Championships don’t hold as much prestige as an NBA title. Place importance on one of them (FIBA) and let the young stars shine in the other. It’d be pretty cool if basketball has something like the football World Cup, where 99% of the world is enthralled by the games.

  • http://twitter.com/SixFootGiant Kevin

    That’s cause it is stupid

  • pposse

    zabbah..they have that during the all star break kind of..its called the rookie sophmore game and no one cares about that!

  • Ldub

    A player at the age of 23 wouldnt be able to represent USA effectively enough to win the Gold. We dont go to the Olympics every 4 years to come in 2nd. Kobe makes a perfect point of sendint the best. I just cant see Rivers, AD, MKG and Beal representing the Red, White and Blue as the “top players” Not when KD, Lebron, Westbrook, Paul, Williams etc would still arguably be in their prime. I do understand the owners concerns as far as injuries. But the age cap is just plain retarded. I guess Stern is trying to make another sh!tty decision before he retires.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    I don’t agree with this, athough I would love to see a Basketball World Cup.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    ^ I know the FIBA World Basketball Championship is relatively the same thing, but I would like to see a Basketball World Cup which is more marketed, and promoted like the Soccer version the “FIFA World Cup.”

  • IGGI

    Why in the hell is Sterm still the commissioner in 2012??? Maybe they should have an age cap on the NBA commissioner.

  • pposse

    sources are letting pposse know that larry legend bird is next in line for nba commissioner

  • http://twitter.com/SixFootGiant Kevin

    Uh pposse what sources do you have? I could’ve sworn Adam Silver was next in line to be the NBA’s HNIC

  • http://www.slamonline.com Jahmai

    Chris Paul gets it. Remember what happened to LBJ, Kobe, Wade and others after the 08 team? LeBron started to focus on defense, Wade lead the league in scoring, Kobe won his first chip without Shaq. The ’10 WC squad? Drose became MVP, RW went into beast mode, KD got even better. All these guys are full of confidence and focus after an USA Basketball experience.

  • pposse

    i was just kidding Kevin, but, i do find it intriguing to say the least that Bird just decided to quit as GM of Indiana and then subsequently said that he is not done with the NBA. The only other job that seems to make sense for him is to be GM. And besides, as a basketball fan i think he should be GM; itll make the fans happier imo. Who is Adam Silver? I never heard of that guy in my life.

  • pposse

    *the only other job for him that makes sense is Commissioner (not GM)

  • http://nba.com GP23

    pposse.. Larry may coach again, but I highly doubt that.

  • http://twitter.com/SixFootGiant Kevin

    Adam Silver is the Deputy Commissioner and as far as I know all he does he call out the names of the second round picks at the Draft lol

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Cosign Kobe

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford


  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Co-Sign Crawfish.

  • http://slamonline.com Datkid

    cosign jahmai

  • PnoyVibe

    It’s sad to see Stern still the commissioner of the NBA.

  • Pingback: Bryant dismisses Olympic age cap idea as "stupid" – Chicago Tribune | South Sport

  • CaptainKirk

    kobe wants to play in 2016!

  • patrick

    to CP3′s stmt..no playing in the olympics isn’t playing against hte best players in the world…playing in the nba is playing against the best players in the world…playing in the olympics is easier competition

  • bdogg

    i will say this..we learned one thing last week with the freeh report..joepa had way too much power! ditto for LOrd stern! get rid of him asap and bring someone new in! did we learn anything. only way i keep adam silver aka the alien around would be if kb is serious about taking over the MIB franchise in 2 yrs when he retires..first order of business save earth and the nba from adam the alien silver from conquering the galaxy! agent mamba too the rescue! in theaters near you soon!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    I don’t know about age restriction but there should be a limit on the amount of times you’re able to participate just for precautionary reasons and to compromise with the owners concerns.

  • LA Huey

    patrick, playing WITH other elite players who are extremely competitive probably pushes you to get better. As teammates they probably share some insight with each other. Chris Paul talking about creating better passing angles, Iguodala sharing advice on defensive positioning, Kevin Love giving a tip on boxing out, etc. ’08 team talked about stuff Kobe and Kidd shared with them to improve their games.

  • Earl Wilson

    I totally agree with Kobe (and I’m from Boston) – the whole reason we started to allow “pro” ballplayers to play basketball in the Olympics was because the (then) Soviet Union and Eastern Europeon teams were using “pro” players (players who were in their military or other govt jobs but just played ball)already (have we forgotten about the first US basketball loss in the Olympics to the Soviets?).

    Putting an age cap on the team would bring us right back to college players (even if they are in the pros, for the most part they do not have the experience in years of playing that pro players have, nor the maturity level)against the World’s best pro’s…

  • Heals

    Kinda torn, but leaning towards Kob’s POV. I think for the Olympics it would be great competitively, in that other countries would have a better chance at knocking off the US. For USA basketball I’m not as sold; most guys play their best ball after 23, less stars means less revenue generated and more importantly players young and older would miss out on the “passing of the torch” effect. Young players benefit greatly from seeing how the Billups, Bryants and other vets conduct themselves in this setting…

  • Heals

    Exactly Huey…

  • dalai lama

    because its impossible to get injured under 23

  • Oli

    kobe’s right. i don’t want the olympic basketball tournament to become what the olympic football , excuse me, soccer tournament already is: a joke!

  • Boom bostic

    @gp23 .. There is a “basketball world cup” its the opposite 4yr rotation of the olympics: send 23& under to the next world championships, ’14, ’18, ’22 & keep the cream of the crop in the olympics, ’12, ’16, ’20 that was a pretty young team that won in’10 excluding a few guys

  • Boom bostic

    I wish you could like comments on here… Make it happen slam