Kobe Bryant called David Stern's proposal to limit Olympic participation to players 23 and under "stupid," ESPN.com reported. Bryant had already said he hopes NBA players will continue to represent their countries in the Olympics, and when Team USA landed in England on Tuesday, he was unequivocal regarding his thoughts on the plan the NBA commissioner had floated regarding an age limitation for Olympic basketball. "It's a stupid idea," Bryant told local reporters at the reception to welcome them to Manchester, England, in advance of Thursday night's exhibition game against Team Great Britain. "It should be a (player's) choice." Bryant suggested his Team USA teammates feel the same way. "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 had already voiced his disagreement with Mavericks owner Mark Cuban that playing in the Olympics creates additional injury concerns. "I think that's the wrong way to look at things," Bryant told the Los Angeles Times. "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. They could be playing against a bunch of bums -- no, really -- guys that feel like they have something to prove and all of a sudden, a (star player) goes to the rim and a guy takes them out and now he's hurt. "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."
- Kobe Bryant
- Team USA