Thursday, July 28th, 2011 at 11:35 am  |  21 responses

Will Superstars Skip 2012 Olympics Due to NBA Lockout?

According to Yahoo! Sports, if the lockout eats much (if not all) of next season, there’s a very good chance the big-name players will not join Team USA as it heads to London for the 2012 Olympic Games. *Gulp*: “In the doomsday scenario, where labor strife causes the cancellation of the 2011-12 NBA season, and the work stoppage drags into June and then July, there’s little, if no chance, the great American players could play in the Olympics. Team USA is too tied to the NBA – too much of a David Stern production – for the players to break ranks and play. In the post 9-11 world, that’s a tricky subject PR-wise for the players, but several union, USA Basketball and agent sources believe this worst-case labor scenario would cost Team USA its NBA stars. As the managing director of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo answers to Stern, and the league – along with its ATM machine, Nike – has immense impact on the coaching staff and roster. How could the NBA allow its coaches – Team USA assistants Nate McMillan and Mike D’Antoni – to coach NBA players during a lockout? Still, that’s the worst-case scenario, but it’s one that USA Basketball will have to consider should the labor dispute push deep into the NBA season. In this instance, Team USA would have to field a team of American players who’ve built careers overseas, as well as D-League players, and perhaps a superior college superstar or two.”

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  • http://slam.com Beavis

    Yeah, eh heh heh, that would be cool.

  • http://www.optimabbc.be Max


  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I really hope the players use this as leverage, though I realize that the Olympics are very valuable to building their ‘personal brands.’

  • greg

    so we are now assuming the lockout will last all season long? please…. the players dont have enough money and they have too many bills to pay for that to happen. this lockout really sucks for rookies. i can see why so many of them stayed out of the draft this season

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Meh, it’s okay, they got Andre Drummond, Shabazz Muhammad, and Jabari Parker.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    Ouch. NBA players not suiting up for the Olympics would be worse to me than losing an NBA season.

  • http://kobebeefnba.com LDR4

    Certain players *cough* LeBron *cough* need the Olympics in order to rebuild their image.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I would think that the players could use this to their advantage by playing.
    Making it seem like they are the bigger men, particularly since Stern would have to bar all coaches from speaking to players per the rules of the lockout, which means that college coaches would get the nod even more.
    So the players work for their country while the NBA suits refuse to cooperate.

  • http://www.slamonline.com/ 1982

    They can’t work in an Olympics clause? Remember all that talk about Coach K bringing in war vets to talk to players last time out, about what it really meant to represent your country? And how they said they had new found respect for playing in front of the world, team work, sacrifice, etc? Guess not…

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Leverage. Those who were going to play are still going to play, those who weren’t wont. All the other posturing is exactly that.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Co-sign AllenP. The union needs to hire you as their PR man.

  • Remo Williams

    Imagine that these NBA superstars dont go to London, dont play in the games. Team USA scouts proven overseas talent, college kids, and maybe a few d-leaguers… fit em in nikes and fly em over the pond. Then they compete and win GOLD!! That’s a story MADE for the movies!! In reality, I dont want to see 3rd rate talent represent the USA, I dont think we’d do to well to the other world super powers.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I like watching USA Basketball more than anyhting else. I wouldn’t mind seeing our Fiba team over there. They’d probably still win Gold. KD, Rose, Westbrook, Eric Gordon, J-Wall, Tyson Chandler. Thats good enough for gold right there. But obviously i’d like to see Kobe, Wade, LeBron, Melo, Dwight, CP3, just dominate Dream Team style!

  • T-Money

    So what exactly prevents players from playing in London? Serious question.

  • chingy

    Spain’s going to be TOUGH

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    Spains always tuff. But they have also never won an Olympic Gold medal.

  • http://gravatar.com/nickp91 nickp91

    The Olympics are a huge part of David Stern’s globalization of the sport.

  • L

    @LakeShow, no team will dominate Dream Team style. Even an All NBA first team will have trouble beating Spain, Argentina, Russia, Serbia with the international rules and the overall global improvement of play.L

  • http://360special.blogspot.com/ dev0

    by this logic, NBA players from every country will have to miss the olympics? Why is this so focused on USA basketball?

  • Reel

    @dev0 it’s focused on USA basketball bcuz they got NBA coaches working with NBA players

  • Mooney10

    That would be the worst sporting disaster in last 20 years if that happened. I think it would really hurt the NBA and a country (US)in an economic crisis not seeing their millionaires represent them, pathetic! if I were one of these players I would go anyway, how they gonna stop you!? if you wnat to play for your country no League locking me out is gonna tell me otherwise, I’d win gold and show up at Stern’s front door with it around my neck. International sporting community would suffer as well, ratings are nuts when the NBA players play with the U.S. who wants to watch when its some D-League guy you don’t know wearing the colours? Secretly though, I want it to happen, so the owners can finally take some blame for this whole debacle!