NBA Commissioner Stern To Consider Changes To Olympic Team After London
NBA Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver yesterday said that the league “is committed to sending top players to the Olympics only through London, and then wants to look into saving them just for the world basketball championship and having the Olympics reserved for those 23 and under, as soccer does,” according to ESPN.com. The “biggest change could be the look of the Olympic teams in 2016.” Silver said, “We think international soccer has an excellent model and in the case of soccer, of course, there's the World Cup of football, which is the biggest sporting event in the world every four years, and then in the off years, for the World Cup, they play, in essence, with some exceptions, a 23-and-under competition at the Olympics." He continued, "And there's a recognition certainly [Maverick’s Owner] Mark Cuban, other owners have raised repeatedly the issue of our players playing in essence year round when you add the Olympics to our newly renamed world championship of basketball to our World Cup of Basketball. So when you have the Olympics, the World Cup of Basketball, we are taking a very close look at whether it makes sense from an NBA standpoint and a global basketball standpoint for the top players to be playing at that level on a year round basis, and somewhere (every) summer.” USA Basketball Chair Jerry Colangelo has said that he “doesn't want to discuss the proposal until after the Olympics, believing it is a distraction to bring it up now.” ESPN.com noted it is “unknown how FIBA would feel, knowing how much basketball has grown in the 20 years NBA players started playing in the Olympics” (ESPN.com, 5/30).
CHANGE ON THE HORIZON: TRUE HOOP’s Henry Abbott wrote Stern “signaled that he will urge a newly formed competition committee to consider significant rule changes -- for instance, the elimination of basket interference, video analysis to punish floppers and increased video review of flagrant fouls.” Stern said, “There's no shortage of issues to be discussed from rules enforcements to video replay to a variety of other issues.” No new rules “are certain,” but even if the new committee “changes, owners must approve them, which is an uncertain process.” Abbott noted Stern “is careful to point out ‘we don’t have any expectations for the new committee'” (ESPN.com, 5/30).