U.S. players not impressed with 23-and-under proposal

LAS VEGAS – Depending on who is asked, the idea is somewhere between harebrained and bizarre, which, come to think about it, isn’t saying a lot for the proposal.

The rule in question is the proposed age limit of 23 for players participating in the Olympics, which has been floated out there as a trial balloon by NBA commissioner David Stern but which has a real chance of being implemented prior to the Rio Games of 2016.

The current members of Team USA, from the top on down, don’t like it.

But Stern is the boss, and the boss has decided that the governing forces of soccer are far more on the ball than their basketball counterparts because they have an age limit of 23 in the Olympics and then open competition in the World Cup, which is a global phenomenon every four years.

So why not follow the lead of soccer and create a World Cup of Basketball?

Nitpickers would point out that making the Olympics worse in order to make the world championship better is a curious strategy. But, then again, the NBA could run a World Cup and benefit financially. and when sports is driven by greed rather than what is best for the sport or its fans, anything is possible.

Count Jerry Colangelo, managing director of the U.S. national team, as one opposed to the change.

Colangelo said he has had a discussion with Stern and told him to step carefully.

“Before any final decision is made, it’s important that all the people understand what the ramifications are – to the current group of players, to the future group of players – what really are the limitations as a result?” Colangelo said. “I think that discussion should be a long, thorough discussion before anyone goes off half cocked. That’s my opinion and I shared that with David.”

(To see the original column that appeared on Sheridanhoops.com, click here.)

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