Kobe Bryant Calls David Stern's Olympic Proposal 'Stupid'
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant described NBA commissioner David Stern's proposal to restrict NBA's Olympic involvement to players aged 23 and under as "stupid".
"It's a stupid idea," Bryant told reporters. "It should be a (player's) choice."
Bryant said his statement is shared by other Team USA members who arrived in Manchester after an overnight flight from Washington, D.C.
"Our discussion is this: Basically, it's just a dumb idea and we discuss it that way. ... We just discuss it like that and kind of voice our opinions through you media guys," Bryant added.
Bryant's comments about the Olympic age debate came after he openly dismissed injury concerns frequently raised by NBA owners such as Dallas' Mark Cuban.
"I think that's the wrong way to look at things," Bryant said. "If I'm an owner, I would want my player to play internationally because I understand that they're going to be playing anyway, going to be playing pickup basketball in the summertime, and I'm not going to be able to know where they are.
"Here you're playing against the best guys, you have treatment around the clock, your NBA coaching staff can always come sit in the stands and view practice. To me, playing on an Olympic basketball team is actually better if you're an owner."
Stern recently announced during the NBA Finals that the league needed to step back in terms of sending its best and, often, most highly paid players to the Olympics.
The change Stern favors is switching to a system similar to that used in men's Olympic soccer -- which is a 23-and-under competition with three overage players allowed per country -- and allowing all NBA players to remain eligible for the quadrennial FIBA World Championship.
But Team USA chairman Jerry Colangelo is also against Stern's proposed changes.
"I don't want to change anything because I like what we have," Colangelo said. "We take care of our players and I think we do the right things.
"You need a lot of things to fall into place in order for all of this to happen. You need the cooperation and the votes and support of a lot of people. So when I hear something like this, I say it may happen," he added.
Team USA has suffered injuries to some of its candidates, including Derrick Rose (knee), Dwight Howard (back), Dwyane Wade (knee), Chris Bosh (abdominal muscle), LaMarcus Aldridge (knee) and Chauncey Billups (torn Achilles).
Team USA then lost Blake Griffin to a re-aggravated knee injury that this week required arthroscopic surgery.
- Heat-Celtics Tip-Off NBA 2012-13 Season, Lakers-Mavs Also in Opener
- Broadcaster Marv Albert Adds to Nets - Knicks Hype
- Bulls Decline to Match Rockets Offer to Center Omer Asik
- Hornets Sign Draft Picks Anthony Davis and Austin Rivers
- Orlando Magic Likely to Retain Dwight Howard
- Melo's Big First Half Sparks USA to Victory Over Spain
- Celtics Beef Up Backcourt with Courtney Lee Acquisition
- NBA to Put Sponsorship Patches on Jerseys
- Nuggets Bring Back Center Javale McGee
- Lakers Bolster Bench: Add Antawn Jamison
- Jeremy Lin a Rocket Again
- Kobe Bryant Calls David Stern's Olympic Proposal 'Stupid'
- Cavaliers Could Land Bynum in Dwight Howard Trade Saga
- The Economy Surrounding Jeremy Lin and Linsanity
- Clippers Add Forward Grant Hill
- Lakers Making Renewed Push for Dwight Howard
- O.J. Mayo Signs with Mavericks
- Kris Humphries Agrees To Two-Year Contract With Nets
- Raptors Trade James Johnson to Kings
- Suns Win Amnesty Bid for Forward Luis Scola
- Hornets Keep Playmaker Eric Gordon
- Rockets Drop Scola, Eye Move for Dwight Howard
- Center Chris Kaman Joins Mavericks for $8M
- Knicks Keeping Lin, Decide to Match Rockets Offer
- Blake Griffin and Clippers Agree on Five-Year, $95M Extension
- Tim Duncan Stays with Spurs for 3 More Years
- Spurs Sign Green and Diaw to Deals
- Dwyane Wade Undergoes Successful Knee Surgery
- United States Announces Final Basketball Roster for London Games
- Hornets Deal for Magic's Ryan Anderson
- Kirk Hinrich Returns to Bulls
- Brandon Roy Signs Two-Year Deal with T-Wolves
- Knicks to Match Rockets Multi-Year Deal Offer to Jeremy Lin
- Sixers Amnesty Elton Brand
- Kidd Leaves Mavericks for Knicks
- Steve Nash Hollywood Bound
Copyright © 2012 AHN. All rights reserved