After talk of limiting the age an athlete can be to participate in Olympic basketball, FIBA, the world governing body, has said they will likely not impose an age limit.
Patrick Baumann, Secretary General of FIBA, told media Saturday, “The feeling is that we will not be proposing an under-23 for 2016,” he said. “It would probably be premature right now … to make any changes in the Olympic program. Large parts of the world benefit from this tournament for our sport, and I think we should keep this (format) certainly for a while.”
He also told media that FIBA would continue to talk with the NBA, USA Basketball, and other basketball affiliations about limiting the age in international competition.
Men’s soccer has an age limit imposed, as you have to be under 23 to play on the national team. Three spots on the team are reserved for veteran players.
Lebron James recently told media that he would not be playing in Rio if the basketball age limit was imposed.
“Teams are built on friendship and camaraderie, and being together,” James said. “You can’t just piece together no team and think it’s going to happen.”
There are several current USA basketball players who still want to continue to play and be on the team in 2016 including OKC’s Kevin Durant.
“I’m still young, and I still have a couple of years left in this league, more than a couple of years left in this league,” he said recently. “I would love to be an Olympian, another Olympian.”
It looks like James won’t have to worry, as FIBA doesn’t seem too convinced in creating an age limit. However, there is still plnety of time to change the rules around, as FIBA can submit any changes it wants to make to the IOC by the end of this year. According to the NBA, the two proposals FIBA plans to submit do not include the age-limit proposal.