David Stern might be the boss in the NBA but on Friday, the FIBA gave him a quick reminder that outside America, he will play by their rules.
Stern has proposed a 23-and-Under Olympic Basketball team. According a report published Friday, the FIBA has rejected his proposal.
According to FIBA.com, FIBA secretary general and International Olympic Committee member Patrick Baumann reportedly said that:
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.
Baunmann issued a strong, logical, and clear statement that focuses on the international health of basketball. He enforces the idea that Stern was not thinking of the sport while he was drafting (or having someone draft) the proposal. Stern was obviously thinking strictly about the risk that the NBA and franchise owners face when players go off to perform for free in foreign countries while they’re under multimillion dollar contacts in the USA.
Stern has issued public statements about his idea of a Basketball World Cup. For this to work in the future, other countries must have strong and developed basketball programs that bring some level of competition to the USA and Spain. A World Cup works for football (soccer) because it is one of the most accessible sports in the world, allowing almost every country to have very good football teams, leading to competitive global sporting events.