Stern: Nothing Definitive, No Rush To Determine Age Limit For Future Team USA Men's BBall
NBA Commissioner David Stern is “in no hurry to reach a conclusion on whether this will be the last Olympics for NBA players of all ages or whether men's players 23-and-under will compete in future Olympics,” according to Jeff Zillgitt of USA TODAY. Stern Thursday said, "Nothing is definitive. All we're talking about is the issue, having taken stock 20 years after Barcelona. What is the best way to continue the growth of the game on a global basis?” He added, "This is not an urgent issue. This is just an opportunity to have an intelligent conversation with our friends at FIBA." Zillgitt notes the NBA and WNBA have “obvious influence on the Olympics, which is not lost on Stern.” A record 38 NBA players and 16 former NBA players “are scheduled to play” in the London Games. Stern: "You are seeing the influence of our game and the magnet it has become on a global basis" (USA TODAY, 7/27). A USA TODAY editorial states, “For all the money the NBA stars make, and all the reasons they have to be jaded, they still get a thrill out of the Olympics. Good for them. And us” (USA TODAY, 7/27).
RE-LIVING THE DREAM: MEDIA POST’s Karl Greenberg noted the U.S. men’s basketball team has the “biggest-ever portfolio of partners.” Several of the team's sponsors are using the 20th anniversary of the '92 Dream Team “as a soapbox for their narrative: special retail promotions, broadcast features, and grassroots tours." Involved in the campaigns are 11 current or former USA Basketball players, including Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Chauncey Billups. The “retrospective hagiography includes Right Guard's role as presenting sponsor of NBA TV’s documentary ‘The Dream Team’; Burger King's commemorative cup series covering USA hoops teams past; Sunkist Soda and 7UP's collectible cans that pair 1992 Dream Team players with soda brands; and MetroPCS' 15-city USA Basketball Dream Tour, which launched in January.” Player tie-ins from this year's team include Williams "partnering with MetroPCS brand advertising and promotions for Samsung Mobile, plus appearances and social media; Carmelo Anthony's support of the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign ‘My After’ … and Jeep brand's spotlight on Chris Paul as its spokesman for its partnership with USA Basketball.” Other efforts include AmEx' "six-vignette video effort featuring actor Michael Rapaport and Chauncey Billups discussing key moments in USA Basketball history” (MEDIAPOST.com, 7/25).