Before these Olympic games have concluded, we may have learned that David Stern's hopes of a 23-and-under format for the 2016 games have already been dashed -- and in turn, John Wall's chances of playing for Gold remain alive.From SI.com's basketball writer Ian Thomsen:"These Olympics are not expected to bring an immediate end to the "Dream Team'' era of men's basketball, a source told SI.com on Thursday.
"The NBA's interest in pursuing an age ceiling for Olympic basketball is "unlikely'' to be instituted in time for the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, according to the source, who has direct knowledge of the talks involving the International Olympic Committee and FIBA, the international ruling body for basketball."Stern, with the backing of at least some NBA owners, desires the age change so as to protect his top players, but also to boostthe newly labeled FIBA World Cup. If LeBron James, Kevin Durant and others are no longer in the Olympics, thenon-Olympic four-year event and one withoutage restriction would then be promoted as thepremier basketball event from a talent standpoint. Think World Cup soccer compared Olympic soccer (though I'm guessing most of you already made the connection.).Wall could have been in the mix for a spot in 2012 if the 23-and-under format was the rule. Should the age-limit angle be shelved for now, then Wall, part of the Select team that practicedagainst this edition of Olympians,is back in the mix for 2016. Of course, while getting into the Olympic system certainly cannot hurt his chances, it's also not a lock makes the Rio squad. As I wrote earlier this year, Chris Paul and Deron Williams will both be over 30 by the time 2016 rolls around. That hardly means the pair won't be at an All-Star level, but the combination of wear-and-tear plus the been there, done that aspect could have the passers passing. Russell Westbrook should still be in his prime. As for those not in London, Derrick Rose might want his chance at gold after missing out this time due to injury. Rajon Rondo should still be rocking and rolling and what not. Then you have the next waves of point guards including Wall, Kyrie Irving, Brandon Jennings, Damian Lillard, Kendall Marshall and plus four years worth of college players entering the pro ranks. If he plays up to his draft slot, Wizards rookie off-guard Bradley Beal should also be the backcourt discussion.