LeBron James: Count Me Out For Olympics If Age-Limit Is Imposed




LONDONLeBron James said Saturday that he would not play in future Olympic Games if the NBA establishes a 23-year-old age limit for future competitions.

“If the 23 rule goes in, I’m not playing,” James said before the U.S. team’s final practice here, before Sunday’s gold medal game against Spain. “Then, look–all my guys ain’t playing, either. So, no, I’m good. If the rule doesn’t go in, I don’t know. Then it’s an I don’t know thing, and that means there’s a chance. But there’s no chance if the 23 rule goes in.”

James is 27, so he’d already be too old if the rule was adopted. However, basketball is expected to adopt the same parameters as FIFA, soccer’s international governing body. FIFA has established a 23-year-old rule for participants in Olympic soccer. However, each team is allowed three exceptions to that rule, and James would definitely be one of the players that USA Basketball would invite to continue playing.

The 2012 Olympic team is a blend of the 2008 Olympic team that won the gold medal in Beijing, and the 2010 team that captured the gold medal at the World Championships in Turkey. James said he doesn’t want to start over with another group of players.

“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. We’ve seen that in ’04, with our team (which, beset by internal problems, only won the bronze in Athens). We threw our team together in ’04 and thought we could compete against the world, and we got smashed. It took us a three-year commitment to win gold. This team is basically the ’10 team and the ’08 team put together, with the same coaching staff. I love what we’ve got going on with USA Basketball, and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

USA Basketball Czar Jerry Colangelo said Saturday that James and the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony would be two of the three players he would likely invite to continue playing in the Olympics if such an age limit were established.

“If there’s two guys that probably would say to me that they want to, it’s probably them,” Colangelo said. “I think they love it so much. Chris Paul might fall into that category, I don’t know. Certainly there’s a time and place for that, too. LeBron is building such a legacy in terms of who he is, his persona, his accomplishments. He’s moving himself ahead of everybody. And that might appeal to him, one more run. But, heck, let’s wait and see.”

The NBA has floated the idea of establishing an Olympic age limit, in part, because of concerns voiced by its owners, who are leery of their star players committing year after year to international competitions, with the inherent risk of injury and the difficult some face in getting the proper amount of insurance through their country’s governing bodies. The pressure that non-Americans in particular face in playing for their countries in cycle after cycle is enormous, and putting an age limit in would take it out of the players’ hands. However, there are financial implications as well. The NBA is partnering with FIBA, basketball’s international governing body, in developing the World Championships into a rebranded World Cup of Basketball, beginning in 2014.

A new age limit may not be in place before the next Summer Games in 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A source with direct knowledge of the talks between the International Olympic Committee and FIBA told Sports Illustrated’s Ian Thomsen Thursday that it was “unlikely” a change would be made in time for the Rio Games. And even when and if a change is made for the Olympics, there would be no age limit for players in the World Cup. That would allow pros such as James to continue participating in international competition as long as they want to or as long as they are asked.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, long a critic of allowing NBA players to play internationally, has said the NBA should start its own international competition and cut out FIBA altogether. In an e-mail to The New York Times last month, Cuban said an NBA-controlled World Cup would allow the league to share profits both with the participating countries’ basketball governing bodies and with the players, rather than with entities such as the International Olympic Committee and NBC, which broadcasts the games.

“They are risking their futures so that the Olympics organization can maximize sponsorship and TV deals,” Cuban wrote. “There is no good reason for the N.B.A. to risk our athletes so they can profit.”

NBA Commissioner David Stern has said he’s thinking about the age limit after growing to understand his owners’ concerns. During the Finals in June, Stern said that Cuban “had a point” regarding the continued use of NBA players in offseason competitions. However, he also knows the impact that NBA players have had in growing the game around the world since the Dream Team in 1992. Despite winning 49 straight games in international play since 1996, the U.S. team still has gotten the loudest applause by far at these Games from fans.

At a press conference following the league’s Board of Governors meeting last month, Stern said he didn’t have a position on the under-23 issue.

“I said that after 20 years, it’s time for the owners to sort of think about what other options there might be,” he said then. “I didn’t stake out a position. I said one option is what soccer does, what you Americans call soccer, you know, which is 23 and under. There are all kinds of other options, as well.”

Among the other potential options is establishing an older age limit than what FIFA uses in soccer, or capping the number of Olympic appearances a player could make in a lifetime. But several current Olympians want to continue playing through the next cycle.

“I’m 23 now,” said Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant, who led the 2010 team to the gold at the World Championships. “That means I’m done if (the NBA) puts that in. 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. I would love to be an Olympian, another Olympian.”

94 Comments

  1. Alex says:

    If the 23 rule was implemented, each team would have 3 wildcards, where they can invite their veteran players. This is what LeBron meant when he said he wouldn’t play. He wouldn’t play even if they invited him.

  2. Dariusbiski says:

    Money spirit doesn’t match Olympic spirit too much. huh? Cuban don’t care about sport. But players do. Talents need international competition.

  3. heat better than lakers for sure lakers are old Heat in thier prime thats it.

    • NBAfan says:

      I’m a Kobe fan and I agree with you…but this is better than can be expected from the Lakers given what they have, so good for them already.

      HEAT: best player in he league x1, superstar x1, allstar x1, ex-allstar shooters x2
      LAKERS: superstar x1, fading superstar x1, fading ex-allstar x3
      OKC: superstar x1, almost-superstar x1, should really be an all star olympian x1, another international olympian x1

      I wanna see a LAL vs MIA finals….age VS youth, smarts/skills VS physical dominance, systematic and pound down low VS run, drive and kick out

  4. Umi says:

    Mark Cuban makes sense to me.

  5. non bandwagoner says:

    this is news?

  6. joe says:

    Olympic games is about who´s the best athlete in the world in each sport, and which country does he represent?
    Individual or collective sport is the same, why put an age-limit?
    Well, it´s only about protecting your players from playing too much, there say to get injured,
    And if you follow Cuban´s point of view, there would be no more Olympics. So If the guy wants to protect his players, well, he can make his Mavs players sign a non-olympic conditon on their contracts…

  7. BRR says:

    lbj please!!! you can sit down for crying abuout the rules, noone remmember you wining a championship but a deciever or betrayer from your own hometown where you’ve grown up. stupido, all you are thinking about yourself. LBj has no human sympathy but himself…

  8. lbj I.D.I.O.T Fan says:

    No!!! LEBRON JAMES is the KING so he will play even he is 50 year old!!!! LEBRON for PRESIDENT!!!! :P

  9. MasterPiece says:

    The “stupid idea” like Kobe says of 23 under age rule starts to piss me off!!! seriously if they applied this rule they will destroy the competition of the Olmpics foreva’ & USA Team with the college kids will be crashed everytime with the European pros even with the “three exceptions of the NBA players” .
    Please Cuban & Stern stop messing around with ur ideas for making money cuz playing for a country is about pride & respect…. those are such things that youu can’t buy with money !!!!!!

  10. Lebron in wade's team says:

    Basketball Fan
    August 13, 2012 at 6:05 am
    i see a bitter kobe fan huh, well did u know lebron and durant are very good friends, as well as carmelo and paul he calls them his brothers, but lets see y was kobe practically recruiting steve nash??? and now that he has dwight howard if they lose with this laker team they have now with 1 of the best PG ever to play one of the best sg To ever play, and the most dominant big man in the game since shaq faded, along with gasol one of the best pf in the league, and ron artest one of the best defenders and competitive players in the nba, whats the excuse then if they dont win the title??? if kobe is better than lebron then he doesnt need anybody except one or two other people who can play good, he has had 2 with the two 7 footers these last years, now he has a nba2k lineup basically and an allstar team so there will be no excuses if they lose, but im sure it wont ever ever ever be kobe’s fault if they lose cause you know he doesnt ball hog or do anything like that…..smh

    —————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

    ok, lebron is playing with many all-stars too. Wade,Bosh,leBron are all top five at their position! and they are in their prime!!! Lakers members are all past their prime. Oh yea the heat landed one of the greatest sg and he is HOFer coming off the bench!!!

  11. ksandros says:

    Lebron greates player of the world end of story no one can reach him

  12. DiO says:

    I think it would be interesting to see what would happen. Let’s remember the time when NBA players coudn’t play at the Olympics, there were almost no international players in NBA, would it happen again? Is possible, remember Brazil’s Oscar Schimidt, he never played in the NBA for two reasons, he wouldn’t play for Brazil’s National team at the Olympics ever again, and he would have to accept a lower salary than he was already earning due to draft rules.
    Most of intenationals at NBA today play secondary roles, and they could get a similiar salary in strong leagues around the world, with the bonus of starring roles, so US goes to Olympics with a team of rookies, because the stars would waive the invitation to play as most of then already declared. And Internationals would leave or not go to NBA to play for their national teams, is that something desirable?

  13. ayoung says:

    age limit is stupid

  14. ayoung says:

    kobe is better than lebron he has more rings.lebron wouldn’t have a itle if derek rose had not go hurt

  15. Aaron says:

    I think the age 23 limit is stupid. They don’t do that with other Olympic sports, why basketball? Is it because the NBA imposed a certain age limit for the NBA draft? C’mon man!

  16. Dre says:

    It’s crazy because why would David Stern if consider changing to the under-23 issue I mean yea it would make you good friends with FIBA but it not worth it. On the other FIBA national teams you would have pros from all the other countries, but for the USA you would have 23 and under player? That basically defeats the whole purpose of playing against other FIBA teams because they have pros also…but no1 talks about them. it’s such a double standard because since the USA is winning like 40 Olympic games in a row, they feel that they should change the age limit. But if that was Spain or Argentina winning like that they wouldn’t care I bet! People are so hypocritical nowadays! SMH

  17. paul says:

    The problem I have with the NBA players playing in the Olympics is that it’s very unfair to have plus $20 million players competing in what is supposted to be a competition of Amateurs. No more than Soccer, Rugby, Golf and Tennis. It’s pure capitalism at play these days. The shine has gone off it for me.

    • john says:

      The Olympics is not a competition of amateurs like before. Do you think Usain Bolt is an amateur,yet he is just as dominant as Team USA. Do you think Phelps is poor? NO.

  18. kikosan says:

    I hate the idea that Stern and the NBA owners think that Basketball is theirs and they can do whatever they want. They do not own Basketball and they do not own the Olympics. Cuban is a businessman and all he sees and wants are dollar signs.
    Be reminded that the Olympics embodies the highest ideals in Sports, and that includes basketball. So everything that they should be doing should be for the benefit of the Sport, not their pockets.

  19. Rhedz says:

    I dont agree with that “under-23″ rule, the best thing to do is countries will give insurance to players that they’re sendin in the olympics. Just so if one athlete gets injured then he or his club gets compensated by their respective countries. Bydoing this, we are securing the tradition, history and culture of each countries future olympic generation. We dont need another eventlike world cup…olympics is enough. The goal is to prove infront of the whole world that one is the best of the best. Play for glory, play for gold but never for greed as greed only makes one a complete sinner rather than an athlete.

  20. AussieCeltic says:

    Mark Cuban is simply saying..

    “If i’m not making money, no one does!”

    What an arrogant, self-centered piece of work.
    Mr Cuban, these people go to Olympics/ World Champs, because they WANT to represent their country, they have pride. You own ONE club and Despite what you think. you don’t own these players and their skills you’re merely renting them

    People like Mark Cuban are whats wrong with this world…

  21. Daniel says:

    I really dislike the idea of this rule, because if such a rule were to be imposed, it makes all the under age teams irrelevant. The whole idea of grooming Americans to play the European game would become much more difficult. Plus, don’t people want to see the best players in the league play in the games? Like the Dream Team that everyone went gaga over? This whole idea would have nixed a team like that from ever existing again, because not one player on that team was 23; either they were in their mid 20’s or their early 30’s. To quote Kobe Bryant, a rule of this magnitude is a “stupid idea”

  22. specialfriedrice says:

    soccer LOL…80mins later and the score IS !!! 0-0….wth

  23. specialfriedrice says:

    Age limit wont happen USA would be digging their own grave, Vetern experience trumps young talent everytime.

  24. Mark says:

    The age limit rule for basketball is ridiculous… The reason FIFA has it in place is because, between every World Cup is a divisional championship – the Euros, Asian Cup, etc. If basketball removes the Olympics, then you have a World Championships every four years… And nothing else! It’s ridiculous… If the players don’t want to play they don’t have to, if they do want to play, there’s no harm in letting them… The owners should butt out of it and think about what’s best for basketball.

  25. Rocabye says:

    It’s all about the money. Always has been.

  26. spaniard says:

    it’s easy: if stern wants to do it then do it, but he can’t make us (FIBA=rest of the world) do the same so, if you want to send to the olympics an under 23 team and get crushed…it’s your decission, cause we all know what will happen when they compete against my country (Spain) or Brazil, france, lithuania, russia….they´ll get raped on the court and today’s gold game is an example…US won by 7 with one of the greatest teams ever put together… imagine if they were U-23 with names like blake griffin or kyrie, maybe demarcus cousins, anthony davis, etc…. against people like the gasol bros, calderon, JC navarro, rudy fernandez, serge ibaka; or nene, barbosa, varejao; tony parker, batum, diaw, kirilenko….. that’s a joke, you will ruin the legacy you built with the redeem team and this olympics team, you are the greatest right now, dont do that to yourselves.

  27. H.Hunt says:

    Stopping the best adult athletes (after 23 years old) from continuing to represent their country in the Olympics games is against everything they stand for! Has fiction become the reality of “Rollerball” where the big corporations completely take over the role of nations? Why should football clubs be the owners and dictators of our national hero athletes making decisions on Olympic sports age limitations? It is appalling to think that this hideous selfish attitude of greed is also going to influence other sports like basketball. Come on NBA, don’t disgrace us and stifle the incredible influence American basketball has on the world’s growth and development in this beautiful game! PlayForLifeHH

  28. Cessroy says:

    Why not just go back to only college players?, Oh yeah, cause the rest of the world sends their best young players to play in mens leagues and the US would normally get crushed, just let the best players, age regardless, decide who the best in the world is. would we send high school runners as our best?, come on, this is stupid…

  29. noyb says:

    Why on earth would we bow to pressure from other countries?! Tell them to stick in it their ear! USA is No. 1!!!

  30. Mino says:

    It’s not like Lebron is under 23, of course he wouldn’t play if it happened. he wouldn’t be allowed…

  31. I don’t like the age limit either. If the US wants to be the number #1 country for basketball, they should be allowed to set their own rules. Not conform to the rest of the world.

  32. Raiders says:

    Go Raiders

  33. C says:

    The comparison with soccer is nonsense, because the great international competition in soccer is the World Cup, and no club team would ever forbid their players from attending it. Every four years, the World Cup Final draws more audience than any basketball game. In soccer, the Olympics are even less important than continental competitions for international teams.

    In basketball however, the Olympics are the most important international competition. It is crucial for the world exposure of basketball that this sport has a competition where athletes can compete for their country. Therefore, it is crucial that all athletes can attend the Olympics.

  34. ha says:

    Indeed the Olympic Soccer has the age limit of 23…

    AND THATS WHY NOBODY WATCHES IT

  35. Lebronmustplay2016 says:

    there shouldn’t have an age limit proposed. . ban the age limit. .

  36. Zeke says:

    This idea is awful, Kyrie Irving would never get to play for the team. All the players on the 2nd team wouldn’t get to play which includes Cousins, Wall and Favors. Most players in this years draft wouldn’t have the chance, next years draft and a whole lot of other players like Faried, D-Rose and Griffin. This is just a horrendous suggestion because the Olympics comes around every four year and this could also stop a future no.1 draft pick who could be too old by the time next Olympics starts.

    Also if that other silly rule comes into effect, where you have to be 21 atleast to be drafted then both of rules can contradict each other. The logic!

  37. tmacman says:

    The under 23 rule has really hurt olympic football IMO, commentators don’t really get as excited, and well, Brazil isn’t going to lose any sleep having not won the tournament. So essentially, if you want to punch olympic basketball in the nuts, in particular the USA games, then go ahead FIBA.

    • Mino says:

      normally Brazilians throw the biggest childlike fits anyone has seen, they kinda just shrugged this one off…

  38. PatrickW20 says:

    I don’t see the point in this whatsoever. I just don’t think it would make a blind bit of difference. USA even with most of the players under 23 would still be dominant, maybe even more so. If you look at the college players and young nba players i don’t think think anyone can disagree with how talented they are. So maybe you lose a few of the superstars but just look at who other countries would lose aswell! For Spain (the second best team in the world right now) Pau Gasol is 32, Marc is 27, Rudy is 27, Calderon is 30 etc etc. They only have two players on the whole roster who are 23 and soon will have none. Argentina only have one player under 23, Brazil one, Russia four, Lithuania one. These are all the teams that at this stage barely compete with USA and if the 23 rule was put in place would lose almost all of their good players. I think the rule would be a detrement to olympic basketball by lowering the overall standard and making USA even more dominant.

  39. Andreas says:

    Continental and World Championships are a concern for the clubs, because of the risk of injuries and no compensation for the clubs. But there are solutions in the world of sport, where clubs benefits financially, when their players participate in international competition. At the European Championship 2012 in soccer the clubs are taking the risk of injured players, but they get money from the UEFA for each player for which they have to pay the salary. It should not be impossible to pay NBA clubs for each player who participate in the Olympic competition. The IOC getting tons of money from sponsorship and TV-rights. They should be able to pay an insurance for the players for the tournament or give money to the clubs for each player.

  40. Ice says:

    The NBA should take international competitions out of FIBAs hands primarily because of the poor job FIBA does in regards to officiating, marketing and organisation. The NBA is one of the best run sports competitions in the entire world. The officiating in the NBA is great, its not perfect and never can be, but almost all decisions are made with common sense and for the good of the game. International basketball competitions are a great spectacle, and team USA are what make the spectacle great. With the increased level of competition from other countries, it has the potential to be an event in the order of magnitude of the soccer world cup.

  41. Ben says:

    I’d be so disappointed if that happened to. But, I hope that David Stern and Mark Cuban read the public response to this. On every single column about this issue the response has been a resounding no! Don’t mess with our olympic basketball!

    For one thing, it reduces the play standard significantly. It takes away nearly every player anyone wants to watch (US may still have some college favs). And, in my view, given the NCAA tournament and the first few years of the NBA are still the best training fround for 23 and unders, probably does very little to alter USA’s dominance.

    But far worse is the NBA’s apparent interference. The olympics are not yours! FIBA is not yours! Hands off! Stern and Cuban should butt out, completely (and, to be clear, I am a fan of both Stern and Cuban, generally speaking, not one of those who takes every opportunity to knock them).

  42. bey krews says:

    when you say OLYMPICS,it means sending THE BEST to represent the country.
    no matter what the age is..
    STERN once again with an idea as dumb as he is.

  43. Nomena says:

    Hi
    I can understand Lebron James point of view. Since he is part-owner of Liverpool Football Club, i,m sure he learn the history and the business of football (soccer is a nick name) and follow routinery that game (at least Liverpool FC).

    If Marc Cuban want a NBA-controlled Basketball world cup, it wont worlk, it will fail. No contrie will accept that.
    FIFA is an international organisation. NBA is an american basketball league. US Basketball can impose age limit to american NBA players but not necessary others countries.

    The FIFA World Cup was there since …1930.
    Before the 1992 Dream Team, the rest of the world played already basketball. What we descovered with the DT were the ALLEY-OOP, ATLETHISM and SLAM DUNK .
    Basketball is always number 2 or 3 or 4 in the rest of the world (just look at the size of the field of playing).
    To create a World Cup of Basketball is maybe a good idea but dont think you will have the same popularity of its Football,s.
    I play both sports, but kicking and heading the ball is just more fun than playing it with a hand.

    If you look at football world, there is a lots of international competition. And the World Cup is the bigest sport event in the world. Thats why they dont take the Olympic serious.

    NBA players just dont compete internationnally as much as football players do. Thats why they love the olympics.

  44. Willy says:

    I think it will develop International Hoops to another level offering more competition and chances for other smaller countries to qualify. Also do you really enjoy watching the USA win by 49 plus plus every game? A very good example of this rule gives Mexico a gold in football and will only inspire young kids to take up the game? The best college Hoop players can join together in a team very quickly and compete at a very high level. Who goes to college for 4 years anyway these days?

  45. Robert says:

    The NBA organization and especially Cuban should be very careful in branding IOC as trying to benefit from their popular stars. They should not forget that IOC has contributed a lot of what NBA is earning now due to the global exposure of the Dream Team. The NBA is the first one to use free advertisement in international competition by way of Dream Team and I don’t see any reason to stop it as both organizations, NBA, FIBA, and IOC, are equally benefited.

    Cuban’s point is just pure greediness of selfish businessman who have no sense gratefulness of the benefit they got from this international competitions.

  46. Isaac says:

    Every other international team like Argentina and Spain have older guys on there teams because they are the best in their country. That’s what the whole point of the Olympics to put out the best people in their respected coutries and go head to head with other countries best.

  47. Renato says:

    I dislike the idea.The Olympics should be the greatest sports event in the world.Soccer slready is very boring with young teams that are just terrible. It would be very sad to see that happen to basketball as well.

  48. DALGART says:

    Doesn’t make any sense ,why the NBA is considering the 23 years old age-limit for its Olympic Basketball Team.
    You can be absolutely certain, that other countries would not, which obviously meens, that this could be the end
    of USA Basketball domination, which we all know, would never be accepted.

    It would be like sending College kids playing against European Professional Best! We did that many years ago, recall?
    That’s why USA desided to send Professional players after that fiasco!!!
    Obviously winning is not everything, but being competitive on the highest level is!!!

    • Clone says:

      You did not understand.

      David Stern wants Olympic Basketball to become like Olympic Football, to keep NBA Superstars fresh and healthy exclusively for the NBA.
      If that happens, every teams will have to do the same thing.. u wont see kids vs pros.

      And that wont just be applied on the Olympic Tournament, will be also on the Qualifications

    • AG says:

      International teams in many cases have fewer NBA players than the USA, and you can bet that the three over-23 yo players for these teams would be NBA players. So in most cases, you’ll be sparing 7-8 USA players, along with 4-5 NBA players from around the world (from Spain/Argentina usually).

  49. goheat says:

    i love watching usa basketball and especially when miami heat player/players are in it,however iunerstand he concerns of nba owners who are paying millions of dollars o these players and usaaskeball will be just as fun to watch if not more because it will be more of a compeition

  50. What? says:

    no rules should be apply on all sports in the olympics. thats just crazy.
    Its not the country’s fault if they excel in a particular sport. Its just part of what humans are they are not created equal(physical).

  51. dhom says:

    If one rule is applied to one competition then it must be applied to all, right? if mr. cuban doesn’t want his players to play then give them some penalty deduct something from their salaries and we’ll see what happens to mr. cuban’s team. The olympics is a sportsmanship competition to the highest level not controlled, it is supposed to be the greatest show on earth the games must be played to a godly level not to the limited level. Some rich man don’t really understand that ‘coz they are busy worrying about their money and their popularity. if you put some age limit then forget about the olympics and stop the competition ‘cos it totally useless.

  52. alex says:

    this is nonsence… if Brasil gets players in soccer in and out all the time… then a Basketball which is only 5 players 10 times less space… could reach the gold then why cant USA B-Ball

  53. THERE WOULD NEVER HAD BEEN OSCAR SCHMIDT IF THIS STUPID RULE WAS ENFORCED. OR A DREAM TEAM FOR THAT MATTER. AND CUBAN IS SUPPOSED TO BE A BASKETBALL FANATIC? whatta joke.

  54. bmcp4tr01 says:

    I am British but have found watching the Team USA a delight even if I don’t get all the rules! The Olympic soccer tournament is weird and most majors Europeans refuse to send teams. The argument against the USA’s participation is that they are too good. For the most part I have found the Olympics to be drug fueled joke.

  55. Bruno says:

    Mark Cuban seems to have dollar signs in his eyes. Can’t he see the value of the Olympics is beyond that of money? There’s a reason the olympics is much more popular than the world championships. If anything I’d say they should abolish the age limit in soccer. The soccer competition in the olympics is a joke. It doesn’t represent the actual talent of the countries whatsoever.

    • R4 says:

      but it not meant to represent the talent in Soccer. This is why we have Euro cup and World Cup every two years. These cups are meant for the world best. People need to understand that Soccer and Basketball are not a original event at any games. These were later added because of profit. I think it would be more fair to have a more balance games than what America has right now.

      Mexico beat Brazil in the finals. In World Cup this would never happen but what this win does is give Mexico a chance to grow and maybe do this at the most watched sporting event in the world. And p.s. no professional soccer player would play in there prime at the summer games when 1 month before they could be involved in the Euro cup or UEFA champs league.

  56. tenby says:

    Cuban is Number One in profiting from the success made by the original 1992 dream team. If you take a close look at the roster of the Mavericks in the past twelve years, it is/was loaded with foreign players. Nowitzki, Beaubois, Zhizhi, Jianlian, Dragecevic to name a few. Now he sings a different tune!

  57. Peter says:

    How have they won “49 straight games in international play since 1996″ if they won bronze in 2004? They obviously lost a few games in Athens

  58. Cher says:

    I want to know why the olympics are imposing any “rules” toward age, number of countries allowed to participate (gymnastics), etc. Isn’t the spirit of the olympics is to highlight the best of the best athletes? Half of the equestrian gold medal team was in their 50’s. I say more power to them. We have teens, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 50 somethings participating. I don’t think age should be imposed on an olympic dream. I think these athletes should be applauded not punished because the “age clock” got away from them. If Michael Phelps can still swim those speeds in his thirties, then more power to him. If equestrians can jump hurdles in their 50’s more power to them. It is the best of the best people. All countries have the ability to practice and improve. Come on. Let the Olympics be what they should be. The best athletes in the world.

    • Royt says:

      You make me laugh bro. Kudos.

    • Colin says:

      All I know is, if I signed someone like Dirk Nowitzki to a $20,000,000 a year contract, and then he went out and injured his knee playing for the German national team in a failing bid to make the olympics, and then there was a lock out and Dirk never got his knee right and averaged career lows as a result less than 12 months after winning a championship, I’d be furious. Or if I’m Kyrie Irving’s coach, watching him break his hand during Olympic PRACTICE – Blake Griffin, too – oh and let’s not forget Westbrook’s ankle. Cuban isn’t saying no more international competition, he’s saying that these players are worth too much to risk injuries like that for free.

      Let’s get hypothetical: Say Derek Rose sustained that horrible knee injury – against Nigeria. As it is, the Bulls were up by like 15 on the 76ers when he tore his ACL; he shouldn’t have been in the game, but he was, and that’s okay because he gets paid to play in NBA games, especially the playoffs. But if it were, essentially, a free game with no bearing on his league and he lost a year of paychecks over it, who wins then? Even if team USA wins gold, he’s out for the year and Chicago is screwed.

      I support the idea of a World Cup. It works for soccer, and if basketball is to ever achieve that sort of global popularity, then it needs to seperate itself from the Olympics anyway, and attain a higher profile.

      • give me a break says:

        this is not about money though, this is about the history of winning a gold medal in the olympics for your country, and simultaneously seeing the best athletes at their respected sports give it all in international competition. the olympics is bigger than one player, one team, one league or one 20 mil dollar contract. it is history, written every 4 years. so let these players play. they could easily get injured playing a pick up game in the offseason as they can in olympic basketball. what? you gonna ban playing in the offseason too? this is not about, “looking out for the players.” this is about money. after all basketball is a business, and one that stern is looking to make extremely profitable. if only he had a balance between making money and keeping the integrity of pure, simple basketball…

    • R4 says:

      alot people have life confused. summer and winter games are meant for amatuer not pros. this is why we go to school to learn about things before we open our mouth with an opinion.

      • my opinion says:

        @ R4…. so are you suggesting that Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins, and other professional athletes in other sports shouldn’t compete in the Olympics either?…. not sure what sort of school you went to buddy

      • Andrew the Aussie says:

        The Olympics haven’t been Amateur since the 80’s and in some cases even before then. All the athletes spend 100% of their time training whether it be in a Professional league or competing at circuit competitions that happens for the entire rest of the 4 years the olympics aren’t on.

        They all derive income by way of government funding or corporate sponsorship to continue this way and not need to work a regular 9-5 job. Sport is no longer amateur at all, it’s about time you woke up to that.

  59. Dan says:

    This isn’t anything newsworthy, since we already know Lebron only likes to play WITH his friends and top competitors… not against them or away from them.

    • Basketball Fan says:

      i see a bitter kobe fan huh, well did u know lebron and durant are very good friends, as well as carmelo and paul he calls them his brothers, but lets see y was kobe practically recruiting steve nash??? and now that he has dwight howard if they lose with this laker team they have now with 1 of the best PG ever to play one of the best sg To ever play, and the most dominant big man in the game since shaq faded, along with gasol one of the best pf in the league, and ron artest one of the best defenders and competitive players in the nba, whats the excuse then if they dont win the title??? if kobe is better than lebron then he doesnt need anybody except one or two other people who can play good, he has had 2 with the two 7 footers these last years, now he has a nba2k lineup basically and an allstar team so there will be no excuses if they lose, but im sure it wont ever ever ever be kobe’s fault if they lose cause you know he doesnt ball hog or do anything like that…..smh

      • Boyaxki2002 says:

        I agree with that lebron is better than Kobe. no 7 footer on miami line up wade and bosh is not 100% during the finals but lebron presence makes the difference.

      • you are the realest person i have ever read on here

      • NBAfan says:

        I see a bitter Kobe hater…that’s all…Miami got ONE UP’D by LAL so bad it hurts….regardless, they are not that invincible….

        Nash WAS GREAT, not anymore…even Kobe is fading (I’m a Kobe fan but I have to admit it). MWP is not Ron Artest anymore, and Pau is no spring chicken either. Only Dwight is young in that starting line up and he just had surgery this off season….

        Lebron always says he’s friends with everybody, but do you see Durant saying he is friends with Lebron? I see Durant wanting to beat lebron on the court, not go hang out and exchange tweets with him…..

        Durant is the next Kobe…Lebron is now what Shaq was before….

        Why are 7 footers being hyped by all the Heat/Lebron/Wade fans out there? Because that is the glaring weakness of the Miami Heat….that’s all..maybe Lebron should have befriended Dwight or Bynum or Pau or even Javale McGee…

        Kobe is a scorer. Scorers need to shoot to score…so call him a ball hog, I’m sure he’s fine with that. Do you think Lebron can get all his triple doubles and stat-sheet stuffers if the whole damn system didn’t revolve around him and has the ball like 80% of HEAT possessions or something?

        What’s next, Larry Bird kept jacking up too many jumpers? Why did he not drive in more?
        What’s next, ask Magic why he didn’t score 30 pts a game even when he was 6’9 and being guarded by much smaller guard every single game? Why he didn’t post up every single time?

        HEAT STILL STRONG in a very very very weak EASTERN CONFERENCE (yeah, I believe Indy is the second best team with Rose still out and the bulls all but resigned to let the season go until he comes back)

        I’m interested in Bynum’s stats as the main guy in philly….it’ll be so funny if he posts 25 and 10….

        Dallas and San Antonio will always be what they are and OKC is a year wiser….LAL is obviously stronger, but so is LAC if Blake comes back soon enough. Denver got better I think with Iggy.

  60. Myself says:

    oh why you complaining? you’ll prolly get in along with some nice younger players. But I doubt that it’ll stick, most of the players would be rookies or sophomores……

  61. DavetheAussie says:

    It‘s difficult to velieve that players worldwide would be happy ti give up the glory of playing in the Olympics for the chance to make Stern and Cuban richer. Last FIBA World Championships Durant was the tournaments big name becausr no one else bothered going because it an unprestigious tournament with no sense of history. There is always someone that makes money from big international competitions, that is usually the international body that governs the sport and uses the money to invest in the growth of the game, anyone that thinks that is what Cuban and Stern want to do with the revenue from a rebranded World Cup of basketball is a fool.

    • Bob says:

      Funny how we Europeans feel that the Olympics are hardly as prestigious as the World Championship.

      • john says:

        That’s because you hardly win it. Who has won the most Gold?

      • R4 says:

        i think it fair to adopt the same rules as soccer because it could help the growth of the Game. It’s better to develope talent rather than have the same result every year. This will help NBA develope better talent. Yeah if Lebron doesn’t want to come back to summer games it okay because last I check it was Durant was the star of team and Kobe who was the living legend.

        Lebron I think no one cares if you don’t come back to another summer games. I rather see Durant the stud or maybe some other young guys compete.

      • Jon says:

        Man I’m from Europe aswell and I think that the Olympics are the most prestigious tournament ever. I would feel so proud if I was allowed to represent .my country in the Olympics… World Championship is nothing compared to that, except in football

    • Shubh says:

      LBJ is the greatest player
      because he is the most VALUABLE player 3 times and he won his title with 2 other allstars
      Kobe won it with gasol and bynum im pretty sure kobe has never averaged 100 pts
      Lordon won it with 3 other all stars

      • Ryan says:

        no has ever “averaged” 100pts idiot. Lebron has never scored 81 points, but Kobe has. What’s your point?

      • Lakers/Heat Fans are Ridiculous says:

        who needs 81 points when you’re posting triple-doubles. we see who’s the real team player.

      • illone says:

        I’m not a Lakers fan, but if you actually SAW the game that Kobe scored 81, you’d see that his team was literally NO help offensively that game. These were not 81, boost my ego points (atleast not the first 43 or so minutes of the game). If Kobe didn’t go absolutely nuts that game, the Lakers would have lost, easy.

      • NBAfan says:

        Lebron is the undisputed best in the NBA right now….and I’m a Kobe fan. Is he the greatest, lets talk in 5 more years…it’s too early to say stuff like this…

        Who needs 81 pts when you are posting triple doubles? What a stupid comment. 81 points is a MUCH MUCH MUCH RARER feat than a triple double. And while we are talking triple doubles, Oscar Robertson averaged it for an entire season, and I’m sure other players other than James have posted more trip dubs than him….and as far as each triple double is concerned: RAJON RONDO IS KING OF THE CRAZY VIDEO GAME LIKE TRIPLE DOUBLES, and he’s a skinny 6’1 or 6’2 pg….not a 6’8-6’9 250 lb SF who can dominate the ball….

        Anyway, I respect Lebron’s game…he is a very rare combination of physical abilities and skills. He is like Scottie Pippen 3.0…yeah…Lebron skipped version 2.0…he’s that good. I loved Scottie as a player….I preferred him over Jordan actually. I wish Lebron was more defensively minded….then I’d really be his fan