The Club vs. Country debate. You’ll see it this summer first in South Africa, when some major world power soccer club will lose a star player to injury next season when that player gets hurt playing for his country in the World Cup. Is it fair to the club teams that pay these guys millions to have them injured playing for free in an international tournament?
Mark Cuban and a lot of NBA owners feel the same way about the upcoming FIBA World Championships in Turkey. Injuries and just being physically worn down is a concern to owners.
So the two sides are trying to work something out, according to Sports Illustrated:
League sources said the NBA is negotiating with FIBA for new guidelines that will limit the time players spend with national teams over the summer. While no firm agreement has been established, the NBA and FIBA have discussed limiting NBA players to a maximum of four weeks with national teams — to be spent training and playing exhibition friendlies — in addition to time spent at the summer tournament. The sources said a limit of some kind will be enforced at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey, which runs Aug. 28-Sept. 12.
It’s a delicate line. Players want to win for their country, and national team coaches — just like their NBA counterparts — get hired and fired based on wins. Should be interesting to see what kind of balance they can strike.
Whatever it is, we promise you the debate will continue.