FIBA Reportedly Rejects David Stern's 23-and-Under Olympic Basketball Proposal

Jesse Reed@@JesseReed78Correspondent IAugust 17, 2012

Apparently, David Stern and FIBA don't see eye to eye.

FIBA reportedly disagrees with the NBA commissioner regarding his 23-and-under approach to men's basketball at the Summer Olympics.

According to, FIBA secretary general and IOC member Patrick Baumann spoke on that subject, among other things, saying:

From a global perspective, the progress of the talent in all other countries doesn't go at the same speed or the same pace as the USA. They don't all have a school system like the USA...As a result of that, lowering the age to U23 at the Olympics could actually widen the divide between the USA and the rest of the world.

That is an excellent point, and one that I'm sure Stern hadn't thought of when he came out with his proposal. 

It's clear from what we've seen in terms of foreign players in the NBA that they aren't always ready to compete as early as many of the American players. Many of them don't start playing up to their potential until they are well into their mid-20s (Darko Milicic is one example). 

Even though Team USA plowed through most of the competition in 2012, it's clear from its contests against Lithuania and Spain that the rest of the world isn't far behind as far as talent is concerned. But, if you took out many of the key veterans on those teams, they'd be hopelessly lost against an American 23-and-under team.

Stern has had some great ideas about making the NBA into a marketable brand, but he needs to let the men and women who run the IOC and FIBA do their jobs and stay out of the Olympics.

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