Will NBA Sever Ties With Olympics?
David Stern has been musing for months: Maybe it's time to take a page out of soccer's playbook by holding the best players in the world out of the Olympics.
In soccer, the FIFA World Cup shows off the deep end of the talent pool. Age restrictions, meanwhile, keep Olympic soccer in the shallow end -- only players 23 and under, plus up to three older players are eligible.
Stern's idea comes out of left field, Mark Cuban's imagination, or both. And mostly it seems quirky and maybe even harmless.
But in reality it is the opening salvo in an almighty sports business battle which poses a profound threat to the Olympics as we know them and cracks the door open for the NBA to truly lead the global game.
How Much Do USA Routs Matter?
Doug Collins probably knows the feeling all too well.
Collins, now the Philadelphia 76ers coach and current Olympics men's basketball commentator for NBC, was a member of the U.S. team that opened the preliminary round of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich with a crushing 99-33 victory over the Japanese. Then a junior at Illinois State, Collins was a key cog in one of the most lopsided Team USA wins on record. Surely, a victory of that magnitude signaled that a gold medal would be waiting on the horizon. Indeed, 66 points!
Not so, in fact. Turns out, the American men's hoops squad ended up bringing home silver in 1972, falling to the Soviet Union in the closing minutes of the final. Collins was on the floor to witness the one-point lead with a minute left slip away from his fingers. Of course, controversy has lingered around that particular game for 30 years, but the fact the game had even gotten that close underscores how early dominance might not ever guarantee gold.
So much for that 66-point romp, huh?
Starting Lineup: 2012 Olympics
Team USA Schedule
Here's Team USA's schedule for the 2012 Olympic Games in London, starting July 29 until a possible gold-medal game Aug. 13. (All times ET.)
Join ESPN and Daily Dime Live for each game.
Aug. 8: Quarterfinals, 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Aug. 10: Semifinals, noon and 4 p.m.
Aug. 12: Bronze-medal game, 6 a.m.
Aug. 13: Gold-medal game, 10 a.m.
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