Olympic basketball should take a page out of soccer's book and place an age restriction on players intending to participate in the event.
In the Olympic men's soccer tournament, teams are only allowed to have three players over the age of 23 on the roster.
That way players who want to represent their country can still do so up to the age of 23, at a time in their careers when their bodies are still fresh and presumably healthy.
However, the Olymics can also also add a soccer-stye over age player provision that allows a certain number of players older than 23. There are three in Olympic soccer,
And, with the over-age player provision, guys who blossom later in their careers can be rewarded with a spot on the Olympic roster and add some of their veteran leadership to the mix.
If basketball abides by this rule we're much less likely to see great players go down with freak injuries playing in a tournament outside the confines of the NBA the way Blake Griffin did last week. Granted, Griffin is 23 and would have gotten hurt even with the rule in place, but it provides much more protection for superstars in their primes like LeBron James and Chris Paul, guys whose NBA legacies would be permanently altered were they subject to a bad injury during their athletic peaks.
Although it's not a perfect solution, it's the best of both worlds and fans can enjoy a successful Olympic run as well as look forward to an NBA season full of promise and star power.