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Monday, April 23rd, 2012 at 10:15 am  |  39 responses

Mark Cuban: Olympics ‘Biggest Mistake the NBA Makes’


Mark Cuban continues to rail against the Olympic Games (through the media and on his personal blog), and Fox Sports has details of his latest screed against the institution and the NBA’s involvement with it: “Mark Cuban comes off as an unpatriotic, unapologetic, typical money-first, damn-the-flag, ugly-American businessman. But listen closer. Deeper. Does he think the U.S. Olympic basketball team is a shambles? ‘I hope so,’\ the Dallas Mavericks owner said. ‘Maybe that’ll be my next business. F— up the Olympics.’ [...] ‘It’s the biggest mistake the NBA makes,’’ he said. ‘If you look up stupid in the dictionary, you see a picture of the USA Dream Team playing for free for corporate America so the U.S. Olympic Committee can make millions of dollars. If you come up with something that you own, that you give it to me for free so I can make billions of dollars, I want it. And it has nothing to do with patriotism. It’s all about money. You don’t see the Olympic Committee saying, ‘Oh we made so much money. Let’s give it to people.’ If the Olympics weren’t about profit, he said, then he would be fine turning over his players for the Games. Then, he said, it might be about the right things.”

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  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Nobody forces anyone to play for their country.

  • eyal

    yup. I agree with everything cubes is saying.

  • http://slamonline.com raylan

    the media does. if they don’t play they’ll throw stones at them

  • AsadSaleh3

    All the star players should decide not to play. Go back to college guys. The U.S. would be horrible and then people would complain about not winning. Cuban has a solid point here if one really thinks about it intelligently. Especially this summer when guys are coming off of a hectic short season. The Finals participants will have just a few weeks to rest before training starts. And after the Olympics are over, just a few weeks before NBA teams start their training camps. Anytime you talk about a sport dominated by Black men (especially in this country) and getting what they deserve, you will always face pushback from people who don’t think these guys deserve anything or they lazily put the idea out there that they already get paid more than they need to.

  • http://slamonline.com Jones

    @IAMORANGE4EVER: Can you imagine the backlash LBJ would get if he didn’t play and he wasn’t injured? Selfish, coward, afraid of the moment, etc etc.

    I think Cuban’s point is that a lot of peeps call it “patriotism”, but it’s really just greed and profit. And the Olympics people take advantage of it and the NBA suffers from it. Can’t deny it’d be good if the Olympics people donated 10% of their profits to charity,

  • AsadSaleh3

    @Jones Agree with everything you said.

  • 23

    @ IAMORANGE4EVER, I’m with you on this one. If anyone truly thinks this is so wrong and unfair, then don’t participate.

  • http://www.slamonline.com spit hot fiyah

    @23 that is true, but they would still probably get killed by the media like jones said, but who cares, the will turn on anyone in an instant anyhow. cuban might just be sour ’cause he knows that if germany plays in the summer time they work dirk like a slave

  • hushabomb

    @Mark Cuban, you

  • hushabomb

    @Mark Cuban, you’ve been talking to @Jesus.

  • Rik Smits Mullet

    Mark Cuban: ‘Biggest Mistake the NBA Made’

  • 23

    @spit hot, exactly. Imagine if durant or rose gets caught pulling a “Favre”!! The media loves to build up people because they know that once they slip up, they are gonna milk that story for months!!!

  • toinefan88

    I don’t have a problem with any of that. Things done changed the moment we started sending hof’ers over.

  • Dennis

    These guys sacrifice valuable time with their families to play in the olympics, they should get paid, especially if their selling NBA players USA jerseys with their name in the back

  • AiRsMiTh

    I initially thought what the article describes Cuban as, but I think he makes a valid point despite being filthy rich himself (at least he pays people); I do agree with IAMORANGE4EVER though. Simple and to the point.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He sounds just like Wade and Ray Allen.
    Not sure if y’all notice that.

  • AiRsMiTh

    ^You mean because they (Wade and Allen) were talking about getting paid? All 3 sound like they’d want/be ok with it, you’re right.

  • MarkCuban

    I win.

  • robb

    Dirk plays for his country, Gasol and Rubio too, so does Luol, like I said, if you don’t wanna play don’t f*cking do it. Bynum said he wants to take care of his body, so he’s not going and everybody is OK with that. I’m sure if Lebron said he doesn’t wanna go because he wants to rest his body the majority of people would understand, but he plays because he really wants to be there, so does Kobe and most of the other players as well, the olympic games are a great chance to grow your fanbase around the world, so it does help you as a player financially. Stop complaining.

  • Nails

    Everyone should STOP talking about patriotism in sports circles. It actually wants to make me puke. If anyone in this country actually gave a damn about patriotism, we wouldn’t have the Patriot Act, we wouldn’t have given up so many freedoms for our own protection. So I don’t get why choosing not play in the Olympics is unpatriotic. If anything it’s much more American to resist something you don’t believe in, rather than follow along like a blind sheep. I completely agree with Cuban. What happened to the Olympics being for amateurs not professionals? This is clearly a money grab from the IOC. The players get nothing, the teams get nothing, and the NBA gets nothing.

  • MikeC.

    @Nails – I agree that the Olympics should feature amateurs. Maybe the rules could be tweaked to allow pros in the World Championships so all nations could showcase the best they have to offer, but the Olympics is about more than just athletics. It’s supposed to be about international fraternity and the “togetherness” that competing in sports provides. I’m not naive enough to think that the many millions of dollars generated plays no part in the grand scheme of things, but I prefer to focus on the purity of participating in something you’re great at in order to make your nation proud. Seeing Dirk almost break down in tears while carrying Germany’s flag during the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics made me a fan of his all over again. I think the pros are just too jaded to represent their countries in a way that we’d all prefer. Not just American NBA players, but all pros in every sport. Their sport is their job and they’re being asked to come to work during their vacation with “patriotism” kicking them in the arse along the way. I know what I’d say if my boss called me up and said “Hey MikeC, we need you to come in to work on your vacation and make some sales. Do it for Canada.” I’d tell them “no thanks.” Let’s let the amateurs have the Olympics back. So what if it means there isn’t a singular dominant force in international basketball? Isn’t it more fun when you don’t know who the winner is before the game even starts?

  • EJ

    I think it’s totally understandable why Americans aren’t as eager as others to play in international games.
    They’re pretty much favorites in basketball and a lot of other sports, they win the most medals anyway and everybody is almost too familiar with America, so there’s really no need to represent.

  • AsadSaleh3

    Nah, LeBron wouldn’t be left alone if he said he would rather rest his body. None of the stars would be left alone by those who wish to see the US win but don’t want to see the players benefit in any way (although companies will benefit from them). But LeBron especially because he’s a punching bag for people who still dislike him for the summer of 2010.

  • LA Huey

    “You don’t see the Olympic Committee saying, ‘Oh we made so much money. Let’s give it to people.’ If the Olympics weren’t about profit, he said, then he would be fine turning over his players for the Games.”
    Well, said Mark.

  • Bobbito

    If a player chose not to play for rest issues then the media would not let it rest till the end of the next season to see if the rest really paid off. So the players are pressured a little bit but I agree that the Olympics shouldn’t be all about money if the actual athletes aren’t being compensated.

  • bike

    If it’s about profit then don’t send nba players. Send college amateur players who won’t attract as much attention, money, and they won’t win the gold.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Does Cubes care about players not getting paid, or about owners not getting paid for their employees/meal tickets putting in volunteer work that might jeopardize the owners’ profits?

  • LA Huey

    Teddy, he’s worried about himself, for sure. But what’s wrong with that? He doesn’t like folks profiting at his own risk and cost.

  • Josh

    So, i guess this ruthless, only-thinking-of-money attitude is why Cuban is so stinking rich? Come on man, you NEED to play for your country, athletes in every other sport minus the three big American sports, do, with pride. This kind of insular attitude is a shame, because Cuban otherwise seems like a good guy.

  • http://www.thedynastyboys.com lix

    Josh, no one NEEDS to play a damn sport. I don’t care if it’s the Olympics. These guys (usually) play 82 games a year. They aren’t obligated to put their bodies and livlihoods at risk so pinheads like you who have no sense of perspective can sit home and watch them for your entertainment. YOU go risk a career ending injury for free if the Olympics are so important to you. Who the hell do you think you are that you feel the need to decide what these guys should be doing with the little bit of time they get to spend with their families? Basketball is a game. They don’t have to dedicate an entire year to a damn game if they don’t want to. They aren’t over there curing cancer or ending wars. They’re playing friggin games. Cuban isn’t wrong either. If I were him, as much money as he pays those guys I’d hate the Olympics too. That doesn’t make him greedy. You’ve got a lot of nerve telling someone how they should feel about their investments. If I were an NBA owner, I’d insert a contract voiding clause for serious injuries incurred while playing organized basketball for another athletic association during the offseason.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    Maybe people should read what Cubes said carefully. He said that the Olympic Committee was making money off of the Olympics with assets (players) they were getting for free. He has a point. When people say: “Oh, play for your country. It’s an honor.” Why not, but in that case, nobody should be raking in the dough. Makes no sense for the players to risk their careers and for the NBA teams their main assets (players) for free so that the Olympic Committee can make a pretty penny. Cubes is 100% right. (As Wade and Allen were by the way)

  • Rodney

    Why does the media keep giving this guy creditability as some type of business sooth Sayer? He got incredibly lucky during a time thousands of people were getting lucky. He got lucky with his internet radio business being bought up by yahoo. He cashed in on the Dot.com boom. Since then he has done nothing but LOST money. Since he has bought the Mavericks he has lost and average of 10$million a year. So that’s over $100 million and counting. His “network” is still loosing money HDnet has yet to turn a profit and none of his film from his company Magnolia Films has made money.

    So Mark, what is that?

    Is getting lucky and getting 4 billion dollars then investing that money in 3 business thus putting your net worth down to 2.3 billions a “smart” thing?

  • LA Huey

    ^This guy knows what’s up.

  • Lin4President

    I’m not sure about the actual business set up of the Olympic Committee, but as far as I understand, it’s supposed to be a non-profit, and the money that is made goes towards supporting USA Basketball program etc. etc.

    I’ve mentioned this before, but conceptually, you could compare it to other non-profits, i.e. the Red Cross. Just because they ask people to Volunteer, doesn’t mean that the people that work for the organisation shouldn’t be paid.

    The key is that NBA players don’t have to play (assuming they are not somehow contractually obligated from sponsors or something).

  • paul

    Cuban is brave enough to tell the truth. The Olympics are a complete travesty. It’s a money machine, and it’s not about anything that has to do with ideals. Well, it’s propaganda too.

  • majic

    they give the money back through youth programs anyway ffs

  • monkeyball

    If the problem is that the Olympic Committee is making money from athletes’ performance, then the LEAST harmed are the pros (NBA, soccer, tennis players). Cuban is a BILLIONAIRE and NBA stars are multimillionaires. The problem is that NBA players have to play a few games for free? Boo-freaking-hoo. Cuban is just upset someone beat him at his own game (i.e., profit). If Cuban was really concerned about “the Olympics being about the right things” he would be standing up for the athletes who don’t make money throughout the year. These people have to rely on handouts and grit and for them the Olympics is the only time they get exposure. The presence of Lebron, or Rafa Nadal, or Messi helps those people enormously. True, it also helps McDonald’s and the IOC and that sucks.
    But don’t tell me Cuban cares about anything other than money and attention.

  • http://slamonline.com Nella

    What’s wrong with Cuban caring about his money? It’s easy to tell people to take risks with their money. Let’s see you risk your own millions before tellings others to. Oh wait, none of you have millions. I will agree with the fact that this is all voluntary on the player’s part. If I were them I wouldn’t do it. Anyone who’d have a problem with it can shove it up their bung holes.

  • Frill Artist

    This guy is one of the most annoying douches ever. “Waaaaah!!! I’m not making enough money to fuel my greedy lifestyle so people should pay me to play for their own countries even though it’s unheard of in any other country or sport!!! WAAAAH!!!!!!”

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