Monday, July 30th, 2012 at 9:40 am  |  47 responses

Kobe Bryant Thinks NBA Players Should Be Paid to Be Olympians

Much like Ray Allen and Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant thinks it would make sense for NBA players to receive payment for playing on Team USA. Per the LA Times: “Bryant also sided somewhat with Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, who said earlier this year that players should get paid for playing in the Olympics. ‘There’s some truth to that,’ Bryant said. ‘But we’re all here because we enjoy playing. Even though a lot of us probably share the same opinion, it’s not like we’re saying, ‘Well, we’re not going to play if you don’t pay us.’ We play. We do it because we want to.’”

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  • Jake

    Because they don’t have enough?
    Olympics is about patriotism to your country, representing you country on the world stage.. Not a paycheck

  • bdogg

    as i stated before…usa basketball is sponsored by nike…all players are nike/jb..just add a “bonus” onto their endorsement deal…done! real easy!!!

  • Sheed

    Can we stop with this nonsense? You play in the Olympics to represent and bring a gold medal back to your country… not for money. It’s not like these guys need the money either, plus they get plenty from endorsements. This topic just needs to be let go.

  • jayrose

    I see why stern wants an age limit….it will be cheaper to send rookies to the olympics over the stars if they do start paying them.

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    If the Olympics are solely about representing your country and good sportsmanship, shouldn’t all Americans and everyone else, for that matter, be able to represent the United States by getting a Kobe or Lebron Nike Team USA jersey for free? Shouldn’t NBC play Team USA basketball games without commercials because revenue is not what the Olympics are about. Don’t billion dollar business already make enough money?! Ah yes,I forgot, millionares are supposed to play for “the love” while billionares reap the benefits. And it’s like Kobe said, regardless of how players feel, they are STILL playing. Are we really gonna hate on athletes for what they feel rather than what they do?!

  • phillip

    Saying olympics should be played for free because of patriotism is like (IMHO) saying soldiers should go to war for the country for free, police maintaining national security for free, and etc.

  • MeloMan15

    I don’t think Kobe was really trying to say that HE should get paid, clearly he doesn’t need the extra money. But other athletes in different sports could really benefit from getting paid. So many Olympians still have to maintain regular people jobs like teaching ad stuff.

  • da real

    USAB and NIKE are both extremely profitable organizations and that money is being made because of the players. Its ridiculous that they dont get any $$ for all that work.

  • Johnny Beamon

    I agree, they should be paid. Nothing in this world free. Not even water.

  • SeRge

    from what I know each player receives $25,000 for playing on the team. I think thats enough considering your playing to represent your nation and should care about making money. Besides I’m pretty sure they are doing okay financially.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nick Tha Quick

    Same old story. When it’s billionaires making money, they are just businessmen doing what businessmen do. When players ask for what should rightly be their share, oh hell naw! You should be grateful to be making as much as you are and you have the nerve to ask for more? When Nike, USAB and coaching staff are paid for their services, it’s just professional employees getting paid for their work. Olympic players want to get paid. Those ungrateful, unpatriotic,*^@^**. You know how it is.

  • Riki

    Given that many Olympians live hand to mouth, particularly those competing in marginal and less financially viable sports, I think this is pretty distasteful.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    All he said was “There’s some truth to that,” .. “BUT…”
    The headline is quite misleading.
    But, anything that comes outta Kobe’s mouth always garners interest and attention. I’m expecting this “comment” to be argued on First Take later today….

  • Gregg


    You nailed it.

  • L Dribble

    Not sure about some of the arguments here but it is definitely not black and white – as far as I understood it the profits are funnelled back into sports development. I can see that networks make money but they won’t be the ones paying for the athletes. As noted the players do get paid but just a fraction of what they normally do. I can perhaps see more of an argument for merchandise – although I’d rather the profits go back into the sport again – I don’t know what Nike does with that money. And I do agree that the Olympics is ludicrously commercial with all the sponsors so there is a bit of disconnect between that and the athletes being altruistic.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    they should be paid endorsement dollars for the Olympics. THey shouldn’t be paid to actually compete.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chinese Oppenheimer

    They are advertising for free. Corporations are making millions off of them. It’s the corporations that owe athletes money. On the other hand, they don’t have to compete so if they don’t like doing corporate charity they should stay home. I would.

  • slamfan4life

    Honestly, I was thinking the same; they should

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Kobe stated this, THAT’S IT—‘But we’re all here because we enjoy playing. Even though a lot of us probably share the same opinion, it’s not like we’re saying, ‘Well, we’re not going to play if you don’t pay us.’ We play. We do it because we want to.’”

  • Basketball_iQ

    Let the corporations put ads on the jerseys,,, maybe on the back of the players,, that would generate enough revenue to throw the players a taste. They deserve it. I know a lot of people don’t like the ads on jerseys but it makes financial sense especially in this case.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Of course, the same fans that criticized Wade are now siding with Kobe.

  • Orlando Woolridge (RIP)

    I think the US BBall team should be compensated the same way every other olympic athlete is. Are the other athletes paid to be a part of the team? No? Well then why should the basketball team be any different? Its their choice to be on the team or not. If they don’t want to play without pay…cool, find others who will. I love hoops, but if the USA doesn’t win gold because they don’t have their best players, that’s fine. What does it really mean anyway? I’ll still think we (US) have the best players in the world, ya know?

  • Orlando Woolridge (RIP)

    I should have added that the argument should be whether or not olympic athletes are compensated as a whole, not the basketball team alone.

  • BigA

    I wonder who gets those Olympic dollars. If the Olympic bosses were honourful they would have to donate millions.

  • Heals

    @JT21, I’d love to see a side-by-side of LAL/Kob fans that bad mouthed DW3 and RayRay when those sentiments were expressed and now what they think (obviously not saying all you guys out there)…

  • roybot

    Big co-sign to JTaylor21. Seen a lot of those types before. Even D. Wade said, “BUT my love 4 the game & pride 4 USA motivates me more than any $$$ amount.” after he expressed his feelings on payment. Arent him and Kobe saying the exact same thing? Too many Kobe stans (not really a bad thing, just annoying).

  • EJ

    People from the 99% talking about what people from the top 1% and top 0.1% should do. Abstract.

  • robb

    read the article dumbasses!

  • Ng

    Do I think only only nba players should get paid? NO
    Do I think that all the Athletes should get paid? YES
    Some of these athletes that are not in nba and other organizations could use the money.

  • bike

    Give them a choice only if they medal. The athletes can either choose the medal or the cash equivalent. The athletes need to remember that it might look a little weird holding a check to their chest during what would now be termed the award ceremony.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    lol @ jake………its always about the money buddy.

  • elmaar

    Even if there might be a little truth to this, should the multi millionare basketball players on Team USA be saying that?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Chinese Oppenheimer

    EJ with the dumbest comment on the thread.

  • chillout

    What a misleading title….anything for a story right

  • The Spaniard

    “Olympics is about patriotism to your country, representing you country on the world stage.. Not a paycheck”


    The Olympics are almost ENTIRELY about getting a fat “paycheck”. Starting with the almost openly corrupt IOC, the corporate sponsors and the local municipalities.

  • Fish sticks

    The Olympics are not and have never been about patriotism and representing your country. They are about billions in endorsements, new arenas, and corporations making a killing off athletes who aren’t paid. And the only reason the athletes aren’t paid is because when the modern day Olympics were started up again, the rich upper class wanted to stop the poor from competing. Since no fisherman could take time off supporting his family to train for, say, the high jump, he wouldn’t be able to compete. That’s where this whole idea of amateurism comes from as well- said fisherman could not compete in rowing, as that was related to his job, therefore eliminating the unfortunate possibility of a poor man beating a rich man. In short, amateurism is a joke, and I don’t see why athletes of all sports shouldn’t get payed.

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

    It all comes down to the money, whether it’s rainy or snowy or sunny, funny but it all comes down to the money, I’m in it, I’m in it fo da cash, I’m in it fo da cash.

  • Bill

    Make their corporate sponsors pay them. Simple as…

  • That Guy from Philly

    Stop being greedy tree hockey spoiled brats! You’re representing the greatest country in the world! You’re over compensated enough as it is!! Don’t play is the real ”simple” plan to then and all you morons up there^^^^

  • pposse

    money should’t be a motivating factor for an olympic athlete. That defeats the whole purpose of the olympics. If people are buying an nike jersey with LBJ or Kobes name and number on it, dont they reap some sort of benefits? Or does all of that revenue go to nike?


    I’m sure Lobe also thinks he should play the point & take most of the shots while player coaching. :-)


    … next year that is.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    @headline: why? because they are forced to play real bball there?

  • Sketch OBrien

    Really? Let me put some history in this argument, people. The Olympics (and in making that comparison I’m referring to the history of the Olympics) is about AMATEUR Athletes excelling at what they do best for the Glory of their country. Money, sponsorship, and/or profit of any kind has never been a part of the deal.

    People refusing to participate based on compensation of any kind are doing so for selfish reasons… before you side WITH them, check up on your history… honor people… honor… NOT money

  • Sean

    it’s embarrassing that Kobe, and any NBA player, would even suggest they get paid. I’d rather see younger players play as well – lower the age limit. Olympic basketball is the most boring event this summer.

  • sharon koz

    Maybe Kobe hit on something. Personally, I enjoyed the times when the Olympics featured true amater athletes.

  • KEV

    Athletes should not be paid to play in the Olympics! They are there to represent there country! If they feel as if they should be getting paid maybe they shouldn’t be representing there country! Athletes in general are overpaid as is! There’s no reason why they should be rolling in more dough than a doctor, someone with true skills and who is making a difference in the world today! For all athletic associations There should be salary caps that do not exceed a certain limit. Let’s face it 25,000,000 a year to put a ball through a hoop is damn right ridiculous!