Thunder: Mark Cuban fighting the fight
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook played on the United States’ World Championships basketball team in summer 2010. They won the gold, and it was great for the Thunder. Even playing year-round didn’t bother the guys. Young legs can do amazing things.
But the truth about international basketball competition is that it can wear on a player. It can be difficult physically and mentally. And the older Durant and Westbrook get, the more that summer international ball will wear on them.
It’s a little politically incorrect to question superstars — or heck, role players, too — playing for their country. But leave it to the NBA’s straightest shooter to broach the subject. And we don’t mean J.J. Redick.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is calling into question the sanity of NBA franchises paying players millions of dollars — tens of millions of dollars — and then allowing those players to play heated, intense basketball during the off-season, when their bodies should be getting rest and relaxation.
Cuban told ESPNDAllas.com that he is not pleased with Dirk Nowitzki playing for the German national team, when it’s Cuban who has made the financial commitment to Nowitzki’s basketball. You can read the story here.
“It’s just the epitome of stupidity that we would allow ourselves to be used so other corporations (Cuban’s word for the Olympics and international hoops) can make tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars,” Cuban said. “There’s some guys sitting at the Olympic headquarters going, ‘Those dumb-asses, we’re taking all their best guys for nothing.’ ”
Cuban tells the uncomfortable truth that the Olympics, particularly Olympic basketball, is not so much about love of country, but love of money, at least on the organizational side. Cuban also says other NBA owners agree with him but are slow to speak out about it.
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