May 2, 2012, 8:10 AM EDT
This summer, the United States will send it’s best 12 best basketball players to London to represent our nation in the Olympic Games.
Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban hates the idea, and he’s not alone. This summer will be the 20th anniversary of the original Dream Team and for some the bloom is off the rose. The thrill of seeing our best destroy most countries — but have interesting games with a few other powers like Spain — has worn off.
So what if international basketball decided to do what soccer does and turn the Olympics into an under-23 tournament?
NBA commissioner David Stern is down with the idea, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
“My own view is that post-London, we should be thinking about what soccer does and make it 23 and under,” Stern said.
Soccer of course has the World Cup — a battle of nations where there is no restrictions, and it is an event far bigger than the Olympic soccer. International basketball under FIBA has a similar tournament , the World Championships, which the United States won in Turkey in 2010 behind Kevin Durant (that win earned the USA its Olympic berth). If the Olympics were under 23, the world championship would grow in stature.
The United States could field a quality team. Here is a rough sketch of what the Under 23 Team USA might look like:
I kind of like this idea. But it’s something that the rest of the world would have to agree to, and it’s also something that Nike, Adidas and other shoe and apparel manufacturers may not love as they enjoy having their biggest stars on a huge international stage like the Olympics.
Doing this would mean a guy like Derrick Rose would never win a medal (he’s injured for London and will be 27 next Olympics). But it might be something worth trying in Rio to see how it works. I like the idea of the world’s best young players going at it with something real on the line.
- Report: Jeff Van Gundy candidate for Pelicans’ coaching job 6
- Cavs’ improved defense deserves credit for commanding 2-0 Eastern Conference Finals lead 22
- No Kyrie Irving, no problem: Cavaliers cruise to blowout Game 2 win over Hawks 23
- Kyrie Irving out for Game 2 vs. Hawks 6
- PBT Extra: Klay Thompson’s done well, but Warriors should throw other defenders at James Harden, too 5
- PBT Extra: Give Warriors defense some credit for stop of Harden on last play 0
- Lakers general manager says Kobe Bryant told him next season will be Kobe’s last with Lakers 18
- For two games James Harden has been brilliant, but that’s not what anybody is talking about 25