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SBD/August 7, 2012/Olympics
FIBA Not Necessarily Supporting Stern On Olympic Basketball Age Limit
Published August 7, 2012
TAKING SIDES: In N.Y., Mike Vaccaro writes it would be a "shame ... if they mess with the format of this quadrennial gathering, if they turn this into a 23-and-under free-for-all." Vaccaro: "We forget sometimes the Olympics are supposed to be about talent. ... If you hold a world championship in a sport and the world's best 300 or so players at that sport aren't invited, what's the point?" He added, "Limiting the talent pool limits the sport. And, frankly, if that's the way basketball is going, it should just hold world championships every year and stay out of the Olympics" (N.Y. POST, 8/7). But CBSSPORTS.com's Gregg Doyel wrote, "I'm tired of the Dream Team. It's way too good, except for the times when it's not nearly good enough. Either way, I'm sick of it. This is an experiment that has run its course" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/6).
STAYING NEUTRAL: Four Thunder players -- Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook for the U.S. and Serge Ibaka for Spain -- are playing in London, and SI.com's Sam Amick wrote Thunder GM Sam Presti is "forever the diplomat, meaning the record will show that he was neutral on the issue of the Olympics and whether players of all ages should compete in men's basketball." However, as Presti "discussed his players' experiences in London, it was hard to miss the enthusiasm in his voice about five-ring life as we know it." He spoke "glowingly about the fringe benefits of having pros play internationally." Presti said, "It's really helpful for them to play under different circumstances; it only rounds them out as players and makes them better." He added, "I really feel like we've benefited from all of the exposures that the players have been given, and I think they're all very grateful for the opportunity too. It's fun to watch them in these situations." Amick noted Presti made it "clear that he wanted to learn more about the 23-and-under debate before forming his opinion" (SI.com, 8/6).