This summer in London the United States will send its best players to London to compete for Olympic gold. Well, it’s best players minus Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose… okay, we’re sending our best healthy players to compete for Olympic gold.
But David Stern has said he wants this to be it — by Brazil in 2016 he wants the Olympics to be an under-23 tournament like is done for Olympic soccer. Top stars would only be called on once every four years for the World Championships. You know Stern is pushing for this because his owners — most vocally Mark Cuban but many others — don’t want their best players taking on the extra responsibility (and injury risk, and wear and tear).
But there’s another side to this — the NBA wants some money out of these international tournaments, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.
For the use of its most marketable players, the league office and many NBA owners are determined to create a financial partnership with FIBA for a World Cup that would allow the NBA to significantly share in the windfall of revenues.
“The owners would be a lot more comfortable letting star players play internationally if they’re sharing in the revenue,” one league source told Yahoo! Sports.
It’s all about the Benjamins. Money generated from Olympic basketball goes to the International Olympic Committee and the NBA owners see none of it. They want to get paid.
A partnership with FIBA changes the economic model for the major international basketball tournaments. Now, if the NBA gets a cut the other top leagues that send players — the Spanish ABC league — may want a cut of revenue as well. But that could be worked out.
Bottom line, if you want to know who will represent the USA in Brazil in four years look at the guys who are 19 and under now.
By the way, Cuban still isn’t happy. He tells Woj the NBA should start and own its own major international tournament with its stars so it makes all the money. Spoken like a true billionaire owner.