Team USA Blowouts Are Helping David Stern's Case for U-23 Age Limit in Olympics
Someone better tell Team USA that it needs to stop dominating. Sure, winning by a 20-point margin in each game from this point forward would be just about fine—typically.
But if Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant and the rest of the Americans keep lighting it up, they might be forcing David Stern's hand and truly helping his case for an under-23 age limit in the Olympics.
After the ridiculous 83-point shellacking of Nigeria on Thursday, the Americans have upped their average margin of victory to a jaw-dropping 52.3 points. There is no typo in that last sentence.
Unless something drastically changes over the next few days, that margin is going to stay in the same realm of greatness. The only team that poses a serious threat to Team USA is Spain, and the Gasol-led team just struggled to take down Great Britain, the 43rd-ranked team in the FIBA rankings.
If Team USA is going to dominate to this extent, then what's the point of bringing out the superstars in full force? Why not send out a host of young players to get the job done, even if the games are significantly closer?
For me, the answer is obvious.
I want to see LeBron James and Kevin Durant on the same team. I want to see Carmelo Anthony hit 10 three-pointers and then shrug. I want to see Russell Westbrook prove that he may very well be the best athlete on the planet. I want to see Kobe Bryant hit turnaround jumpers that I can't even dream of making.
If the U-23 age limit passes, I don't get to see any of those things. Instead, I get to watch more unpolished basketball and less domination.
However, for David Stern, the answer is obvious as well. It's just not the same as mine.
He wants to capitalize on the success of the Olympics and not risk losing his star NBA players to fluke injuries in blowouts.
Will there be a U-23 rule at the 2016 Summer Olympics?
What do you think goes through the NBA commissioner's head when Chris Paul is playing in the fourth quarter of an 80-point blowout?
Something tells me that I'm not allowed to write out some of the words in the answer to that rhetorical question.
If the blowouts continue to happen at this rate, Stern is going to blow a gasket and desire the U-23 rule even more than he already does.
Let's take the foot off the gas just a little bit.
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