But now he has really done it. If he ruins international basketball I will seriously lose interest in the sport. I can't go as far as saying that I will stop caring all together but it will definitely fall down on my radar. For me, the main reason to follow club basketball be it NBA or Europe is to see who is really coming on strong for the summer's international play.
It is disgusting what he is trying to do. U23? Bullshit. This works in football because the world cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. Football players do everything they can do to wear the shirt of their nation and football has the same issues with money and injuries. Players who may earn 400k per week from their club are earning about 2k from their national team for each game that they play in and risk injury. Suck it up clubs, it's part of the sport. And what are the national team players doing every two years when there is not a world cup? That's right competing in the Euro, Copa America, Gold Cup or African Cup of Nations, not to mention the Confederations Cup. Yes U23 works in the Olympics for football because otherwise it would be overkill of national team players. Stern is proposing not allowing players over 23 in ANY tournament. This is ridiculous. I agree with Stern that he should copy football's model and I am prepared for a tournament to become U23 IF qualification and friendlies take place throughout the NBA season for which NBA teams need to release their players. Sorry OKC, Team USA needs to take Durant and Westbrook to tour Japan and China in November, deal with it. Until he is prepared to take that step he should not compare himself to the beautiful game.
David Stern is too oblivious to realize that the rise of players like the Gasols, Manu, Dirk, Yao on the INTERNATIONAL level has substantially increased the value of the NBA product that he sells. Would these players succeed in the NBA if they couldn't play internationally past the age of 23? Yes. Would it be as fun to watch? Absolutely not.
My only hope is that Stern fails to convince FIBA of his stupid idea. Should he succeed, FIBA Europe club based players damn well better continue to play in the Olympics and World Cup (Why did they rebrand this? It just sound horrible, does anybody in a basketball executive position have a f*cking clue what they're doing?) irrespective of their age and that teams like Greece, Lithuania and Russia who have limited players in the NBA start to beat up on the US children causing American fans to get upset about Team USA's poor performances over the next decade. Just call me Nostradamus because this will undoubtedly ultimately lead to a triumphant return of NBA players in 2024 Olympics. Only just like the Dunk Contest fans won't be excited that the NBA players are back as much as they'll be perplexed as to why this asshole took them away from us in the first place.
By Chris Sheridan
May 30, 2012 at 7:45 PM
NEW YORK — Our best vs. your best, and let’s see who can win the gold medal in men’s basketball at the Olympics.
That was the idea that spawned the Dream Team, and now NBA commissioner David Stern sounds as though he wants to change it.
Stern on Wednesday endorsed a discussion of limiting the Olympics and the World Cup of Basketball (formerly called the World Championship) to players 23 and under, bowing to pressure from NBA owners who have complained that their prized assets are loaned out for free each summer to international federations.
“In some ways, because of a certain tradition that’s out there, the players that have it the most difficult and the pressure is the greatest on is the non-American players; that there’s an expectation. And if we change the rules so that they can only be expected to play in two Olympics, I think that would relieve them more than they will say publicly, and their teams,” Stern said at his news conference prior to the NBA draft lottery. “And that’s an idea, and as (deputy commissioner) Adam (Silver) said, that’s good to discuss with the (competition) committee. We’ll see where that goes.”
Until 1992, American professional players were barred from the Olympics under the arcane “amateur” rules that allowed professional players from Communist-bloc nations to field older teams, while the United States played with teams comprised of college players.
After the United States lost in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) opened the competition to professionals, and the greatest team ever assembled, the original Dream Team, made a such a splash at the Barcelona Olympics that it led to the global growth of the game.
The Americans won gold in 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2008, with the 2004 team losing three times and finishing with the bronze medal.
Team USA is heading to London this summer with a team that may rival the original Dream Team in terms of talent.
But will it be the last time we see America’s very best take on the very best from other countries?
From listening to Stern and Silver, it seems quite possible.
“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,” Silver said. “And there’s a recognition, certainly Mark Cuban, other owners have raised repeatedly the issue of our players playing in essence year round when you add the Olympics to our newly-renamed World Championship of Basketball to our World Cup of Basketball.
“So when you have the Olympics, the World Cup of basketball, we are taking a very close look at whether it makes sense from an NBA standpoint and a global basketball standpoint for the top players to be playing at that level on a year round basis,” Silver said. “So what we have told FIBA, and what David has announced several times, is that we are all in through the London Olympics, and then post-London Olympics, we want to step back together with USA Basketball, led by Jerry Colangelo and Patrick Baumann in FIBA and … we need to take a long-term view of what makes sense both for the NBA and for the game.”
By Dan Bickley, Arizona Republic
Updated 1d 5h ago
Twisting arms never has been a problem for Jerry Colangelo. And now he has one final sales pitch to NBA superstars who might bail on their country:
The 2012 Olympics might be your last.
"I've tried to put that discussion aside to another day, after London, when it's appropriate," Colangelo said. "But you don't know what the future holds."
Entering his second Olympics as chairman of USA Basketball, Colangelo knows more than he's telling. But it's pretty clear change is coming.
The days of Nike-fueled Olympic dream teams might be over after London. Already, some players have stepped out of line, asking to be paid. Mark Cuban and other NBA owners bristle over talent exported and expended in pursuit of gold medals. It's a valid concern.
The league's premier players risk both injury and mockery (if they lose), and because all participants need recuperation time, their professional teams are always handicapped at the start of the next season.
To some, the investment outweighs the rewards.
An Under-23 format has been suggested. There is enough talent in America to win with college players and young professionals, without marquee names. And after Team USA's performance in Beijing reinforced America's superiority, putting the basketball world back on its axis, it's probably time to turn back the clock.
That also puts considerable pressure on Colangelo to pull off an encore this summer, to end the era of superstar Olympic teams with one final, stunning success.
It won't be easy.
"We anticipate walking into London with a target on our backs," Colangelo said. "The whole philosophy is different. Last time, we were climbing the hill. This time, we're protecting the hill. It's a different mind-set."
There also are injury issues. Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard are on the shelf. Chris Bosh returned to Game 5 of the NBA's Eastern Conference finals after missing time because of an abdominal strain, and his status is uncertain. LaMarcus Aldridge and Chauncey Billups also are injured.
"We didn't anticipate this kind of adversity. You never do," Colangelo said. "But we should be in a position to withstand it. We are still very deep. The national-team concept and the infrastructure we put in place will come back and really help us now."
LeBron James has committed to play in his third Olympics. Kobe Bryant is a slam dunk. Dwyane Wade has said these Games will be his last.
Yet Wade has been somewhat unpredictable lately. He barked at NBA Commissioner David Stern during a negotiating session. He said NBA players should be paid to play in the Olympics, before backpedaling. If Wade changes his mind at the last minute, Colangelo has James Harden lined up as a suitable replacement.
But that's provided Harden and Oklahoma City teammate Kevin Durant don't shut it down after playing for an NBA championship.
Chris Paul and Deron Williams give Colangelo depth at point guard. Kevin Love and Tyson Chandler are team-first big men.
But here's how fluid the situation has become: Blake Griffin and Lamar Odom recently flew to Duke University for private meetings with Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski, in case they're needed.
"In today's fast and furious world, you have to be flexible, roll with the dice, deal with the cards," Colangelo said. "All those old analogies, they fit right now. But we're organized. We're ready. And as the clocks ticks, we're revving up."
Enjoy the show. For NBA superstars, it might be the last.