Wednesday, April 11th, 2012 at 10:25 am  |  74 responses

Ray Allen: Players Should Be Paid to Take Part in the Olympics

According to Ray Allen, the NBA and USA Basketball need to find a better way of compensating players when they sign up to play for Team USA. Reports Fox Sports: “You talk about the patriotism that guys should want to play for, but you (need to) find a way to entice the guys,’ Allen said. ‘It’s not the easiest thing in the world if you play deep in the playoffs and then you get two, three weeks off and then you start training again to play more basketball where it requires you to be away from home and in another country. It’s fun, but your body does need a break Everybody says, ‘Play for your country.’ But (NBA players are) commodities, your businesses. You think about it, you do camps in the summer, you have various opportunities to make money. When you go overseas and play basketball, you lose those opportunties, what you may make… If I’m an accountant and I get outsourced by my firm, I’m going to make some money somewhere else.’ The U.S. Olympic Committee does provide every American with $25,000 for winning a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver and $10,000 for a bronze. But Allen, while not specifying an amount, has a way he believes could result in Team USA players drawing a fair salary. ‘If it’s licensing,’ Allen said. ‘(The players) are wearing jerseys and (others, but not the players, are) making money off it. Something (should be done) just to say to the guys, ‘Hey, you guys are spending this much time, 40 days, playing basketball, we’re paying for some type service that you provide, that you’re getting some kind of kickback’… I know that you sell unlimited jerseys so I think the players should get some piece of that.’”

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  • http://www.nba.com JB

    And military personnel should be paid like professional athletes when going to a combat zone. C’mon Ray, really??

  • Kobester

    Sorry Ray, but it’s not happening.

  • Heals

    Update: Rajon Rondo now interested in playing for TeamUSA…

  • pixelrabbit

    If Ray doesn’t want to go play, I’m sure there are plenty of others that would be honored to represent their country in his place.

  • thetalkingcomb

    Well, Ray or any other player could always sell his gold medal in the future when they’re bankrupt by their 57th kid seeking child support. Gold’s a rather sound investment.

  • LA Huey

    Non-athletes in administrative positions and the like get paid handsomely for their role in the Olympics. They aren’t told to take a pay way below their scale and suck it up for goodwill, why should athletes. And basketball and soccer are huge draws for the Olympics, those players should be compensated accordingly.

  • @boweezy24


  • Bro

    Ray Allen is an idiot. If he doesn’t want to represent his country in the olympics without pay, I am sure there are more than a million other people who would. Doesn’t he already have enough money?

  • robb

    Do they get paid only for their role in the Olympics? or they get paid because they are part of the U.S. Olympic Committee? because being a member of that committee means a lot of work, not only during the olympic games but during the whole process, that’s a full time job, obviously they get paid for it. And I don’t see Lebron James or Kobe Bryant complaining about it, actually they always talk about how honored they feel to represent their country, honestly I can’t imagine those guys saying what Ray is saying, they may be pros but the olympic games are not about representing a country for money, they are not mercenaries.

  • Heals

    Gotta love all the quick trigger fingers in here. He’s ONLY talking about the $$$ made off player jersey’s with their name on em’…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Dagger

    It’s tragic when everything is commodified. Even patriotism has a price tag for these guys.

  • bike

    What about every athlete that competes? Should they all get paid too?
    They don’t have to play for whatever reason they feel is legit.

  • Old Long Johnson

    Reading comprehension isnt big around these parts…

  • jv

    i see no need to bash Mr. Allen for his point of view, it’s something that should be considered although I disagree with the licensing rights…money from that takes the honor of playing for your country as an incentive away, i think, so why don’t they offer a bigger purse for winning gold instead? (i say start with $1 million per player) come on olympic committee do it!

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    What the hell is so great about representing this country?

  • bdogg

    ray ray should do a little homework. coach k is a nike guy being duke is a nike school. usa hoops is a nike affilicated like it or not. that said , if you are nike/jb sponsored you are more than compensated for your endorsement. exhibit A mamba, bron, dwade, melo , durant and such. you get my point .they are more than taken care of with usa jersey sales, shoes of course and other gear! i am sure that is written into their endorsement deals. if a player happens to be adidas or UA…well maybe sign with da swoosh than..sorry!

  • morals and ethics

    Comon wheres the ethic in the sport anymore? play to win and for your heart. im tired of paying you guys.

  • jay

    Ray Allen is an idiot. Most athletes would PAY to take part in the Olympics. Not the other way around. The honor is clearly lost on him.

  • hambone

    make your mind up,is it your tired and body is sore or is it about the money? Damn im surprised by this ish from Ray,he`s been talking too much with mike..(joke)..so what about all the other us athletes,should they get paid too? This is why the Olympics should have stayed amateur

  • hambone

    reads Jtaylors comment and gets the popcorn ready :)

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    Those of you who don’t get what Ray is saying don’t have a clue about finance and money. Olympics and patriotism aside, Ray Allen has got his head right about how business really works. When he finally leaves the game, this dude is going to be just as successful off the court.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    And on the patriotism angle – being patriotic doesn’t mean you give others a license to exploit you.

  • ben

    what the f… ray’s out of touch with the real world.

  • jay

    i disagree. Most US Olympic athletes don’t make a dime. Their big breaks are from doing Subway ads or Coke ads during the Games. Ray is still getting NBA checks all summer and his hotel and accomodations are all free his entire London trip. It’s his choice to play in the Olympics or run a summer camp. His camp will be forgotten 4 years from now. The Olympic stats are forever. Just another greedy star. The game has been so good to you and yet you complain about not getting paid for 1 month?

  • jay

    Business and Finance goes out the window in this discussion. You VOLUNTEER for the Olympics if you accept the invite. There’s no negotiations. The fact that Ray would lose money by missing out on camps is his own personal issue. The Olympic structure has never changed. Just because one sport out of 15 includes multi-millionaires does not warrant making special rules for basketball. The athlete just has to say NO to USA Basketball (like most did from 96-05)

  • 23

    i understand where ray is coming from, but damn. if there has ever been a time to play for pride, and the love of the game… the olympics is the place to do it. its not nba, people arent watching the olympics for the highlights. they truly just want their team to win. and like everyone else is saying, if money is stopping you from playing then dont play. nobody is forcing anyone into the olympics. sadly, business saavy doesnt equal moraly right

  • abaci

    So much for pride.

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

    Co-sign JT.

  • http://twitter.com/twelveinchfinc Creflow Dollars

    The patriotism comments always kill me. Especially when in reference to minorities, why the hell should we take pride in a country that doesnt like us? If your job told you that you should volunteer with the military on weekends because it’s “Patriotic” Im sure you’d be all rushing to the nearest VA hospital

  • Drig

    To all of you that are saying that he still gets his checks from the NBA teams……..THAT’S THE POINT!! What’s the incentive for a player to wear his body down playing for someone who doesn’t pay his bills??? Hell, if you’ve watched soccer, you’d realize how much big a pain in the ass the international matches sometimes truly are!! There are teams who’s entire season flushed down the toilet just because they wanted to represent their country and became a liability to the team who actually pays him to play for them every game.

  • Drig

    Not sayin’ that people should be mercenaries and not give a damn about patriotism but Ray Ray’s simply being real and is thinking like a businessman. That’s not really bad either.

  • LA Huey

    JT and Teddy, I understand where you’re coming from but I just look at it as repping USA basketball not the USA. If that makes sense. Like how Rose loves playing for the Bulls because he’s repping Chicago basketball, not the politics.

  • 23

    drig, many players dont care about the risk when it comes to the olympics. because its such an honor to compete. the olympics is literally a sacred event. it owes nothing to its competitors. i do agree tho that playing in the olympics can pose an injury risk… but bottom line its about sacrifice. and id say those who are lucky enough to have a gold medal would tell you over a million times that the sacrifice was worth it.

  • http://www.michaelcho.com M Cho

    Those who think the Olympic games are some utopian place where sport transcends commerce are misinformed. The olympics are a gigantic business, and subject to the same corruption as any other huge money maker. If you think the NCAA is exploitive and corrupt, imagine it with international politicians, contractors and even bigger sponsors thrown in the mix. I mean this is a group whose Olympic Committee members were caught on record demanding bribes…and hookers…in UTAH. You know what I mean? So, I don’t blame Ray for seeing past the hypocrisy and calling it a business like anything else and questioning what constitutes fair compensation for labour. He has the leverage to speak out, as an NBA athlete rather than one in a less popular sport and he’s using it.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Buncha commies…

  • Clownfish31

    I’ve always liked Ray and for people to lash out at him because of some statements, possibly taken out of context, is a bit immature. However, given how this article is presented, I was quite surprised to hear him say this. Although, I do see what he’s trying to communicate. Basically, he’s saying players deserve a bigger cut of the profits made from their presence in the olympics. If someone were to sell jerseys with your last name on the back and didn’t give you a lick of change, I’m pretty sure you’d think twice about playing for “pride” and “glory”. Just for kicks, think of it this way: in a super conservative model, let’s say USA basketball sells an official #6 LBJ jersey at $50. If the US win a gold medal, Lebron gets $25000. To make $25000, USA basketball needs to sell a measly 500 LBJ jerseys ($25000 / $50). Are you telling me LBJ is getting his due at $25000? Consider the fact that there’s no way an official USA basketball jersey actually goes for $50. Pride and patriotism is one thing. Confusing “pride and patriotism” with “working for free” is another. I think at Ray’s age, where he’s closer to retirement, he starts thinking about how little time he has left to earn a relatively decent wage. But for a younger player like LeBron or Wade or Melo – these guys can still afford to add some wear and tear at the expense of their country. Anyway, I’m just playing devil’s advocate because I saw a couple of comments about Ray being an “idiot”. If you find it so easy to criticize a guy who’s expressing his opinions, then why don’t you go spend a month and a half working for free at GM or Ford this summer and let us all know how proud you are to have helped save a dying American industry with nothing to show but your own blood and sweat?

  • 23

    jt, if this country sucks so bad, then why do you even care? why watch the nba? its an american company. why come to slamonline? its an american publication. you dont have to be in love with this country but if you think this country is not worth representing then i see that as disrespectful. btw basketball was created in america. so stop acting like america is pure evil.

  • @23

    It was created by a Canadian though……..

  • Clownfish31

    @23: James Naismith. Google him.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Their actions throughout history begs to differ.

  • Shifty

    Think all you guys forget the time spent away from family while doing all this. Pretty much playing for free. And being a American player your team is likely going to be on the playoffs. He even mentioned this saying if you go into a deep playoff run you get like three weeks with your family ten off to train for the Olympics. And alot of the players do have families He deserves his opinion. He did win a medal at the Olympics.

  • Jerome

    @JT21: I feel you. Current actions, as well.

  • Ranlygeorge

    Why shouldn’t the players get paid for their services when big businesses get paid
    From the Olympics and off the back of those said players.
    What so great about representing America when young black males can’t walk down the streets
    Without fear of been killed by Police or bigots ( bigots polices).
    Why should a brown soldier volunteer to go to another country and fight for liberties that he
    Can’t enjoy in his own country?
    Pay for service. Big business get paid so can the players

  • wnba players play all year long. Wnba season, overseas season and then national team. Dont whine Ray

  • smoove

    Everybody here thinks being away from your family and playing bball all year round is very easy, stfu if you havent been there, its ez to assume.

  • Pingback: Sports Facts » Dwyane Wade eyes Olympic pay – ESPN

  • Brad09

    everyone here that thinks the US and nike should get to make money off these athletes for nothing is a jackass. Why shouldnt they get paid? So how much does nike pay to get the rights to the jerseys? who gets that money? and who gets the money once they are sold? Speaking the truth Ray Allen

  • Lloyd

    No one is forcing you to play in the Olympics. If you want to play, you play. I would think that as a competitor, you’d play just to prove that you’re the best in the world. Regardless of individual patriotism, it’s got to feel nice knowing that an entire COUNTRY is behind you and wanting you to succeed. This is a world stage. The biggest stage. If you’re a competitor, you’d want to play there just to say that you won.

  • Heals

    Ya’ll whining about other olympic athletes fail to understand that most olympic athletes are amateurs, have no commercial value or play sports without marketable leagues. Also peep how much $$$ NBC forked over in order to broadcast them for those whining about profiting off patriotism…

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

    Co-sign Heals and Ranlygeorge. I also see your point, Huey.

  • shutup

    He is talking about taking a part of the Jersey sale profits. Actually has nothing to do with the actual Olympics. They play for pride, but what happens to the money made off of their names? So its ok for the companies (whoever sponsors the jerseys) to keep all of it. You don’t think names on the back of the jersey move units? Maybe they should get a percentage of their individual jersey sale, would everyone be happy with that?

  • BBaller

    Any money raised should be put into the American youth Basketball system ie Under 16s etc. Sorry Ray you just went down 3 points in my eyes.

  • dan

    well, i wouldnt come up with an arguement that it should be an honor to represent a country because nationalism and patriotism is just narrow minded and vicious. but it should be an honor from a sportsmanlike-point of view for any olympic participant. they all earn way enough in the nba and on this stage they can show character.

  • LA Huey

    I would only chastise Ray Allen or other like-minded athletes if NBC wasn’t profitting from broadcasting the Olympics or if all the sponsors did so anonymously or administrators involved were only compensated room and board for their work, etc.

  • http://slamonline Brion

    Ray Allen is making 10 million this year to put a ball through a hoop. If he doesnt want to support the same country that allows him to be able to do this then just go away. lost mad resprect for this. No ones asking him to go crawl through the trenches. just go play the game your supposed to love.

  • alex80

    @JB, Killing Arabs in Irak ain’t the same like playing Basketball like Sugar ray.

  • LA Huey

    People want to bring up military service like that’s noble. How often does the US military take action to defend “freedom” and “equality” as opposed to “wealth”?

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Dammit Huey, you better than that. How often do military men and women sign up to bring the US wealth? That’s why it’s noble. Because they signed up for the right reasons. It’s not up to them who they attack, and when. They are doing a service for their country. We repay them by giving them respect for that. I do anyway.

  • LA Huey

    The fact is, what the military actually does, isn’t noble. Also, I’m not going to doubt that people sign up for what they get in return. And they do have a choice to decide if the war their asked to fight is for the right reasons. If they refuse, they go to jail. But almost all decide they don’t care or they’re not willing sacrifice their personal freedom to “do the right thing”. Which I don’t blame them for because I would make the same choice (whether to fight or not, once I’m already signed up) in their position.

  • bike

    Huey is the man. Ray is right. Nike and usa basketball, coach k, nbc, all make money, why shouldn’t the workers who draw in all the paying customers. Agree with jtaylor as well, what’s good about repping this country?

  • hushabomb

    If Jesus plan was in action then here’s the question??? Would Jesus kick some of his profit to the women’s basketball team. They regularly play for the Olympic team, have to play in 2 continents in order to make half decent money and generally have harder conditions to play under than an NBA player does.

  • Cell

    The value of getting to play for your country at the olympics should be priceless. If you don’t see that you don’t deserve to wear the jersey

  • deadbored

    the staight up undefiable ignorance of some of the people who post on this site! We live in a very corrupt world unfortunately, so there is no favors when talking about business. And you people have no right to judge someone when its there business, time and life thats on the line not yours. get a f*ckin grip guys

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Why are people bringing up the rigors of playing in the WNBA in this convo? Them having to play in 2 continents? Playing year round? Haviing Team USA’s Men’s team give the women’s team a share of profits? How does that make things right?

  • Boogster

    To those who think being in military service is a noble thing, i beg you to consider the fact that A WAR is the biggest business in the whole world. Only noble act during a war is to defend your family.

  • http://www.nicekicks.com Chris

    The majority of you think the NCAA is scam, this is not that much different train of thought. Throw patriotism and representing you country in there and a lot of flip-flopping goes on. I agree with Ray, companies make millions and millions off the Olympics, via endorsement sales, tourism, tv deals etc. Why shouldn’t all athletes who have put their body through hell to get there not reap the majority of the reward for the hard work they put in “in the name of their country”. Just because it is coming from a man who makes millions of dollars in a popular sport doesn’t make what he’s saying any less relevant.

  • EJ

    Why’s everybody agreeing now? When I said something like this, everybody was up in arms, except for Teddy.

  • ClydeTheGlide

    Paid… no chance. Maybe compensated if they’re injured… yes. But the opportunity to play for your country should be reward enough, no need to ask for commissions of jersey sales.

  • Leoni

    Simple: Allen = Mercenary.

  • Brickshooting J

    @JB: As far as I know, military personnel are paid like professional military personnel.

  • hushabomb

    @DaMeatHook. The thing is you need to look at is the fact that the USA wonems team volunteer their time for the Olympics when they are playin the WNBA now. And i’m sure they down time for their families yet they volunteer to play every single time. I’d like to see the players get paid both men and women. And they deserve some money as well. We all know that a LeBron jersey will sell out. So some of that profit should also benefit the womens team as well. Just my 2 cents

  • LA Huey

    MeatHook, the Men’s team already kind of gives money to the Women’s squad. You ever heard of a thing called the WNBA and how the NBA has been subsidizing their league for awhile?

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Huey, you’re just supporting my argument. Why should the money that the Men’s team go to support the women’s team? The NBA already does a lot for women’s basketball. So to answer your stupid question, yes, I have heard of the WNBA and how it has been subsidized. Yes, I do think “2-ball” was a pathetic way to showcase WNBA talent. Carry on.

  • deadbored

    HAHAHAHA!! @people who think war is noble. america at war = bullying. War is for money. It has always been for money.