The opening ceremy for the 2012 London Olympics is set to happen later today, but the basketball world still has one eye looking ahead to the 2016 games. NBA commissioner David Stern has talked about instituting a 23-and-under rule starting in 2016, and Team USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo has said the sooner he knows the rule, the better. Stern discussed that topic and others in an interview with Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, so let's round up the highlights....
- Stern is in no rush to reach a resolution on the participation issue for the 2016 Olympics, as he told Zillgitt: "This is not an urgent issue. This is just an opportunity to have an intelligent conversation with our friends at FIBA."
- Added Stern: "Nothing is definitive. All we're talking about is the issue, having taken stock 20 years after Barcelona. What is the best way to continue the growth of the game on a global basis?"
- Stern was also asked about the ongoing Dwight Howard saga, and took the opportunity to chide the man he believes is the source of many of the latest leaks: Howard's agent Dan Fegan. "It's [a] very unique [situation], especially if it's driven by a quote source that happens to be Dwight's agent," Stern said. "'A source in the meeting.' Oh, OK, who might that be?" It's hard to argue on that point, considering many reports of the meeting between the two sides criticized the Magic for being unprepared, something the team certainly wouldn't leak itself.
- As for the Howard situation itself though, Stern told Zillgitt that he didn't have a problem with how it was playing out: "To me, it is the soap opera our fans turn in for -- the drama on the court and the drama off the court. When we cease to have a story popping up, we probably won't exist.... That's the way it has been in baseball and the NFL and hockey and basketball. And frankly, it engages our fans, it engages our reporters, it engages our bloggers. It makes people happy, mad, sad. It's just the life in sports."