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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