NBA Chief Favors Age Restriction For Olympics

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NEW YORK (CBS SPORTS) – Olympic basketball might be changing yet again, at least if David Stern has his way. Speaking on ESPN Radio, Stern said he would be in favor of making a new age restriction on who can participate in the basketball tournament. “My own view is that post-London, we should be thinking about even what soccer does and make it 23 and under,” Stern said Monday.

Stern said that the league doesn’t try and encourage players to play though. “No, we stay out of it,” he said. “The problem is that it’s so [ingrained] into the international players that they just always play. And so we were contemplating, even back in the day when we thought we maybe wouldn’t allow NBA players to go, that would have deprived us of Yao Ming because the Chinese government never would have let him come to play [in the NBA]. And the international players were going anyway. So then it would apply only to American players? So we found ourselves in a bit of an interesting dilemma with the whole thing.”

Stern made sure to say that the United States’ international dominance isn’t what makes him feel that way, saying he doesn’t have “a problem with Americans losing in the Olympics.”

“We don’t have to win everything for it to be great,” Stern added.

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