NBA Commissioner David Stern is pushing for an age-limit for the Olympic basketball competition. Stern wants the FIBA to impose a limit of 23 years old for any competitors in the Summer Olympics to protect his NBA players. Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban brought up the same concern a few years ago. He doesn't believe his players should risk injury in non-profit games.
It is strange to see Cuban and Stern on the same page for something, and in this case they have a good point but are wrong. The concern of the NBA is that a star player, such as LeBron James, could injure himself in the Olympics and cost the NBA millions of dollars as a result. However, while the money is important, these players are playing for the glory of their country.
To some people, that is more important than any lost funds by a corporation like the NBA. What makes Stern's concerns even worse is that he believes the players could still play in the World Cup, just not the Olympics.
Luckily, FIBA chief Patrick Baumann understands the NBA but does not agree.
"From FIBA's perspective, we understand the perspective from USA Basketball and the NBA," Baumann said. "I'm not sure (we) necessarily have the same idea, but we understand the owners' concerns."
There is one more person who openly disagrees with Stern's idea of an age limit that would drop Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Pau Gasol and more from the Olympic basketball competition.
"It's a stupid idea. It should be a (player's) choice," Kobe Bryant said. "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."
The vote would have to clear a vote by the FIBA. Would Brazil or Argentina agree to cut any player over the age of 23 from their teams? The NBA believes they hold the cards, but they are just a cog in the larger system. Would you pay as much attention if the best in the world weren't playing?
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