NBA commissioner David Stern and deputy commissioner Adam Silver told members of the media on Wednesday that the league will take a closer look after the London Games to see whether it makes sense to suggest that the Olympic men’s basketball tournament limit players to 23 years old and younger, in the same way the Olympic men’s soccer tournament does. (A rule change would also affect the world championships, now called the World Cup of Basketball.)
Needless to say, the U.S. would still have the deepest talent pool from which to draw and would remain the favorite every four years, but such a move would give more players a chance to represent their country and might quicken the maturation process of some who have not yet met their potential.
Recent Olympic teams would have had a vastly different look had this restriction been in place. On the original Dream Team, for example, only token collegian Christian Laettner was anywhere close to 23. (He turned 23 one week after the gold medal game.)