Feb 25, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Eastern Conference guard Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat signs autographs following the 2012 NBA All-Star team practice session at the Orange County Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE
The recent Dwyane Wade thing got me thinking. First of all, if you don't know what he said, he was one of the most recent, American, high profile professionals to talk about getting something for their troubles -- when they go out there and play in the Olympics. You can read about it here. Do these guys get paid for playing in the world championships? I don't really know how FIBA breaks down -- but the egalitarian pov suggests that playing for the continued glory of your nation is supposed to be reward enough. However, while the athletes put everything on the line, people are selling a lot of merch and making a lot of money . . . money that those athletes don't necessarily see first hand.
Perhaps we should just limit who plays in these contests back to non-pros -- that way, the money thing doesn't even factor as much as it used to. I think there are a number of NBA guys who wouldn't mind seeing it go that way either. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is one of them, and he actively prevented some of his players from representing their nations during said tournaments. After all, what if you get hurt playing for your country -- the NBA team that pays your contract is still on the hook. This is one of the big reasons why Steve Nash stopped playing for Team Canada over the last few years -- and probably the extra rest helped prolonged his career in the NBA. Of course, this is even worse if you get hurt during a tournament when you are, yourself, a free agent with no contract.
I think this year Kyrylo Fesenko had to go on the Ramen Noodle diet this year because that's exactly what happened to him.
What do you guys think? Sound off in the comments section! It's a non-game night!