Mark Cuban is not a fan of NBA players taking part in massive international basketball tournaments for their country. More accurately, Cuban is not a fan of NBA players participating in massive international basketball tournaments of which the NBA owners — who certainly do risk injury to their highly-paid players — do not see any profit.
But that’s a macro level concern for Cuban. On a micro level, he’s very supportive of his players.
Here’s what the never shy Andrew Bogut — the Mavericks new center is playing for Australia in Rio — said about Cuban, via Michael Lee of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
“If it wasn’t right, I’d put my hand up and I’m on a flight back home. It was good enough to play,” Bogut said, adding that Cuban “has been great. We have a great relationship via email and via text. The whole thing was, if you feel like you’re 100 percent, and you feel like your knee is a go, we’re going to support you. I couldn’t ask for a better organization to give me that confidence.”
While the Mavericks have had a rough time landing top free agents in recent years, it’s not because players don’t like and respect Cuban — they love him. He has turned it into an organization guys are willing to come to (people forget what a disaster it was when he took over that franchise).
Part of the reason is he shows he cares on a personal level.
Cuban has encouraged Dirk Nowitzki and other Mavs players to represent their country, he understands that draw. His concern is simply that he is taking a risk — players he will pay this next season regardless could get injured — yet he and the other owners get no compensation for that. He’d rather see the NBA run a World Cup style event as opposed to FIBA. Which is not a bad idea.
Bogut and his Aussie buddies will give the United States its first real test today in Rio. This should be interesting.