Nobody likes being told what to do; well, except maybe those select few who's, um, fetishes tend to run that way. Anywho, when you quiz athletes about some of the people they don't like the most, it's inevitable that the name of the commissioner of their sport often comes up. For David Stern, NBA Commissioner, it's a safe bet that his name comes up the most out of all the major sports commish's.
Stern is a somewhat brash outspoken guy who isn't afraid to let what he feels slip through his mouth. While he has advanced the sport back into the forefront of popularity, no small thanks to the current crop of young stars, he's also had some less than stellar ideas over the years as well as his fair share of controversy.
Thanks to a recent proposal by Stern concerning a potential age cap on players who can be on the Olympic squad, you can add a little of both negatives to the list.
The proposal made by Stern, if used, would restrict players over the age of 23 from participating in the Olympics. Like the system currently used in Olympic Men's Soccer, however, there would be three over-age players allowed on the roster.
Stern also went on to say that the FIBA World Championship would be open to all other NBA players. Unlike the Olympics, NBA owners would receive a share of the revenue when their players participate in the FIBA World Championship.
This proposal, if accepted, could mean that 2012 would be the last time the NBA's top talent would be together to represent this country. Needless to say, when informed of the potential change, the 35-year-old Kobe Bryant wasn't a huge fan of it.
"It's a stupid idea," Bryant told local news reporters at the reception to welcome them to Manchester in advance of Thursday night's exhibition game against Great Britain. "It should be a (player's) choice."
Bryant's blunt sentiments seem to echo the thoughts of his teammates as well as when asked how much he and his USA teammates have talked about Stern's proposal since getting together in Las Vegas on July 5, Bryant said: "Our discussion is this: Basically, it's just a dumb idea and we (discuss) it that way."
It's obvious that Stern is pushing for this as a means to protect the integrity of the NBA by not exposing his aging stars to the extra miles of wear and tear that playing in these games would provide; but in all honesty, this should be a matter left in the hands of the players, not the NBA Commissioner. These men who agree to play on the Olympic rosters are just that, men, and if the NBA wishes to intercede on the selection process to restrict it's top players from competing, then maybe they should just start adding clauses into contracts instead of this bogus idea from Stern.
Whatever the case, don't expect any changes of this nature anytime soon as this pill would be a tough swallow for anyone involved.
James LeBeau is a sports contributor for CraveOnline Sports and you can follow him on Twitter @JleBeau76 or subscribe on Facebook.com/CraveOnlineSports.
Photo Credit: AP