The Olympics: Privilege or Paycheck?

Normally, I would never post on here. I have too much going on in other endeavors and following Cat Scratch Reader like a stock broker follows the market. I'm a casual fan of basketball but I don't like the Miami Heat, I really don't care for LeBron James and until recently I didn't mind Dwayne Wade. Anyway, I saw an article on regarding Wade's comments about how the NBA players should be should be compensated for playing in the Olympics. Let that sink in for a moment. A man who makes more in one year than most of us would probably make in a lifetime thinks that any player representing Team USA should be paid. I think the reason this bothers me is because I spent over a decade serving my country in the military. That being said, I have a great amount of patriotism flowing through my veins and in my humble opinion feel that an opportunity to represent this country in the Olympics would be an honor. Monetary compensation should be a non-factor.

Dwayne Wade:

It's a lot of things you do for the Olympics -- a lot of jerseys you sell

I will not dispute that argument. However, I will say this: You do not need the Olympics to sell your merchandise. Wade is well known in the basketball community, I doubt an Olympic appearance will bump up his sales. If its a matter of Olympic jerseys with your name on the back, fine you make a point but proceeds for each jersey should be donated to charity.

We play the whole summer. I do think guys should be compensated. Just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it's not there. But I think it should be something, you know, there for it

I'm trying to figure out if he is referring to the Olympics or the combination of the event and the NBA postseason. The Olympics are going to last for a mere seventeen days. That is just over two and a half weeks. Plus, it will be well after the NBA season so you can reserve the option to decline. No one is twisting your arm to play D-Wade.

You're giving up a lot to do it. It's something you want to do. But it's taxing on your body. You're not playing for the dollar. But it would be nice if you would get compensated.

Really? That is all you care about? Forget that you are playing for your country and representing a positive image of sportsmanship on a global stage; you just care about getting paid. As stated before, you can decline playing and allow someone else to fill your spot.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Ray Allen, you are not off the hook my friend. I felt sickened by your comments probably more so than Wade's.

You talk about the patriotism that guys should want to play for, but you (need to) find a way to entice the guys, 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.

First, refer to above comments about declining an invitation. Then, take into account those service members who are home after being deployed for 12-15 months only to be shipped out again three to four months later. Yes, I know we all signed a dotted line and must honor and obey the orders given out by superiors but there is no off season for the military. When you guys became pro basketball players, you should have understood what that entailed. You are an ambassador to your sport and your country. Seriously, why do you think there is a push to endorse American sports (NBA, NFL, MLB & NHL) to worldwide markets?

If it were up to me, professional athletes would have no place in the Olympics. I really feel that either college kids or semi-pro basketball players should represent Team USA. That way, the arguments or concerns about collecting money are null and void. I feel that participating in the Olympics is an honor and a privilege. I would hope that every athlete who participates understands that it is not about them as the individual but something bigger. It is a flag, a country and an ideal that is center stage. Somewhere down the road, it seems society and perhaps some professional athletes have lost sight of that.

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