Why Imposing Team USA Age Limit Wouldn't Make Olympic Basketball More Exciting

Justin WeltonAnalyst IIJuly 30, 2012

ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 08:  NBA Commissioner David Stern speaks with the media prior to the game between the Indiana Pacers and the Atlanta Hawks at Philips Arena on February 8, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

David Stern should sit back, relax and watch the 2012 Summer Olympics rather than opening his mouth about ruining them.

Stern recently mentioned how he thought about imposing a 23-and-under age limit to the Olympics in the distant future, according to Matt Moore of CBSSports.com. While he mentions how the idea isn't urgent, it's an awful idea.

Here are three reasons why imposing an age limit would be an atrocious idea:

Olympics are about the world's best players

Let's pretend that Stern added his 23-and-under ordeal to the Men's Basketball team at the 2012 Summer Games. Would those players be considered America's best players? Not even close.

It's frustrating watching an Olympic event knowing that there are better players watching on their TV's at home.

Watching Spain's soccer team in two games at the Olympics this year has been an embarrassment. Juan Mata is the biggest star for Spain at this year's Olympics.

We're talking about a team that just won the World Cup in 2010 and European Championship in 2008 and 2012 yet they can't defeat Honduras? Give me a break.

What if those age limits were imposed in 1992? There wouldn't have been a Dream Team. Just thinking about that makes this idea less knowledgeable.

Home of the free

Are the United States' players held accountable for not participating in the Olympics? Do they have to play? No.

They can sit out and decide to rest their body for the upcoming season. There is no rule about having to play. They are big boys, they can make their own decision. This is the home of the free, remember?

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports notes that players have more control than what they think. 

"The most incredible part of the debate about the NBA's desire to run its superstars out of the Olympics is simple: The players can stop it," says Wojnarowski. "Push for an under-23 basketball tournament in the Olympics, and we won't be representing the United States in a new World Cup tournament."

If that's the route American players have to take, then I am all for it.

Kobe Bryant, one of the most outspoken players at the 2012 Olympics, recently called Stern's idea "stupid" according to Marc Stein of ESPN.

"It's a stupid idea," Bryant told local reporters at the reception to welcome them to Manchester in advance of Thursday night's exhibition game here against Team Great Britain. "It should be a (player's) choice."

Of course it was a stupid idea. It completely ruins everything that's great about the Olympics. Would you enjoy going to watch a World Series game and find out you're watching the Indianapolis Indians against the Pawtucket Red Sox?

That's exactly what we would see if the age limit was used.

Once in a lifetime experience

Imagine being 30 years old and finally coming into your own in the NBA. You are 6'10" and can shoot the rock from the perimeter. You make the NBA All-Star team two times in a row, and you in the prime of your career.

Your size, shooting ability and overall game would be a perfect fit on the national team. There is just one problem: you can't play for your country in the Olympics because of an age limit.

Your one opportunity to do something all Americans wish they could do is gashed because one of the dumbest ideas ever created. Playing in the Olympics is a once in a lifetime experience, and the best athletes should be there to compete for their country.

Stern's idea is beyond stupid. The Olympics are about the best athletes assembled in order to win a gold medal. It's not about saving those players for the NBA.

Let Americans be Americans, Mr. Stern. Let them do what they want.