Kobe calls under-23 Olympic basketball idea “stupid”
When this Olympics ends there is going to be a discussion among a bunch of rich lawyers in suits about what is best for basketball players. What could go wrong with that?
David Stern, pushed by NBA owners, wants to see the Olympic basketball tournament become an under-23 tournament, as is done with men’s soccer. That conversation will get pushed harder after the London games. USA Basketball President Jerry Colangelo said he had talked with Stern about it and said that it would be a very political decision involving FIBA and countries around the world.
The players pretty much hate the idea.Kobe Bryant summed it up directly, speaking to Reuters (via SLAM) as Team USA landed in England for a game against Great Brittan Thursday (which will be another rout).
“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…
“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.”
Soccer fans, feel free to jump into the club vs. country debate you’ve had for decades. Owners of teams have huge investments in players, investments that are risking injury and wearing down their body during the offseason and they want it to stop. The players just want to play and compete at the highest levels. The shoe companies like the idea of their biggest stars on this global stage. FIBA wants its World Cup to be like the soccer World Cup and not a secondary tournament to the Olympics.
So, lots of old lawyers in suits arguing about what basketball players should do in the offseason. That’s always how the best decisions get made.