David Stern Hints That Future Olympic Squads Be 23 & Under
NBA commissioner David Stern suggests that this summer’s London Games may be the last Olympics that will see the league’s top stars.
“My own view is that post-London, we should be thinking about what soccer does and make it 23 and under,” Stern told ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd.
Stern said that since the Olympics are of great importance to international players, the NBA was compelled to allow its players to compete in the Games.
Asked by Cowherd whether the league encourages its players to compete in the Olympics, Stern responded, “No, we stay out of it. The problem is that it’s so (ingrained) into the international players that they just always play. And so we were contemplating, even back in the day when we thought we maybe wouldn’t allow NBA players to go, that would have deprived us of Yao Ming because the Chinese government never would have let him come to play (in the NBA). And the international players were going anyway. So then it would apply only to American players? So we found ourselves in a bit of an interesting dilemma with the whole thing.”
Stern said the U.S. winning gold every four years is not the key variable in the decision, agreeing with Cowherd’s statement that he doesn’t have “a problem with Americans losing in the Olympics. … We don’t have to win everything for it to be great.”
One NBA figure who would be sure to support a change in the Olympic policy is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who has long railed against allowing his players to compete for their countries for nothing in return.
“It’s just the epitome of stupidity that we would allow ourselves to be used so other corporations the Olympics can make tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars,” Cuban said earlier this year.
“There’s some guys sitting at the Olympic headquarters going, ‘Those dumb-asses, we’re taking all their best guys for nothing.”