Olympics Over D. Wade

Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade need to stop it. Really. On Wednesday, Wade told reporters that basketball players need to be compensated for their efforts in the Olympics. Allen was recently quoted as saying, “You talk about the patriotism and that guys should want to play for, but you (need) to find a way to entice the guys.” You know what, I take back my first statement. Ray and Wade, please continue talk.

Wade: It’s always been an honor for me to be a part of the USA Olympic family…and I’m looking forward to doing it again in London this summer.
Oh, what’s that, you’re backing off your original statements? Oh too bad, I’m gonna give my 2 cents anyways.

Do NBA players really need further compensation for their efforts in the Olympics? USA Basketball Jersey sales go through the roof when you guys play internationally in the Olympics, why shouldn’t you get a piece of that action on top of your salary, endorsements, and other business ventures? Consider the two guys who shared their opinion, two former and Olympians, make a combined $25 Million off their salaries in 2012 alone.

Did he want to grow up playing basketball or making money?


In my opinion, professional athletes should not get paid to compete in the Olympics. None of our countries’ athletes receive payment from the USA to take part, and neither should basketball players. Out of all sports in the Olympics, Basketball is one of the few where it’s athletes don’t rely on their Olympics successes for financial reasons. I personally know a select group of athletes who are currently training for London, and they could only dream of receiving 1/10 of the salary that these stars receive on a year basis, and these guys are world-class athletes. Most of their money comes from endorsements from large shoe companies and nutrient suppliers. The ones that I know barely make enough to scrape by, but do we hear them complain when they only score the $25,000 bonus for a gold medal? No, in most cases, that’s more than half of their yearly income. NBA Superstars should be grateful for the opportunity to honor their country in the Olympic Games. They don’t need the financial backing like most other Olympic athletes, and if anything the Olympics raises their brand name. The more exposure internationally, the more revenue they’ll create for their name. So while they may not get paid directly for their participation, the Olympics does pay out. Ask guys like Lebron and the rest of the 2008 team how larger their sales got in China after the Beijing Olympics.
For athletes, the Olympics never has been nor should it ever be about the money. It’s about the spirit, the desire to compete for your country, the pride. Before the dream team, every Olympic team consisted of College players. Amateurs. While the United States started to lose crucial games to their international rivals, they continued to hold the pride that comes with competing for their country. The original dream team held onto the honor, but little by little the standards began to slip. 12 years after the introduction of professional athletes, we had the disaster 2004 team featuring the likes of Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury, Camelo, Amar’e, Richard Jefferson, you know the who’s who of team players. That team was known for being a tremendous failure, a team that was disorganized, that wouldn’t pass and from the looks of it, didn’t want to compete. While the 2008 Redeem Team brought back the gold, I’m worried that some of that selfishness and self-worth may have held over in some of the potential 2012 candidates. After all, Wade as on that 2004 team after all.

While Wade has since backed off his original statement and stated that he doesn’t want to be paid, many others out there probably agree with him and believe that NBA players should be compensated. Some ESPN analyst who shares the same name as me stated that countries pay soccer players for the World Cup. Guess what Cowherd, the World Cup isn’t the Olympics (a historic sporting event that goes back millennium), and those same countries don’t pay the same players that compete in the World Cup for the Olympics. The Olympics is a unique event, one where you shouldn’t need financial motivation to compete. If you required it, I wouldn’t want you representing my country. It’s not that I don’t want athletes making money, I just believe that when you have a 7-figure annual salary, do you really need more financial motivation? I believe in my little Indian friend’s article he claimed that serious injuries could cost basketball players financially. While this is certainly possible, I believe that USA Basketball is required to take out insurance policies on every contract in order to ensure their services. If they weren’t, legally basketball players would have to be idiotic to potentially ruin their current contracts.
And who’s to say you can’t earn money from the Olympics? Look at someone like Michael Phelps. Sure swimming isn’t a money sport, but did you know that he earned a million dollar bonus from Speedo among other deals including Kellogs. When you get the time, check out the article at the bottom of the page about the endorsement potential for Phelps to a company like Nike, big numbers being thrown around: So it’s not impossible for  athletes to make money off Olympics if they perform, which feels more than appropriate.To me, the Olympics aren’t and shouldn’t be about money, these NBA players earn enough as it is.
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