SBD/April 12, 2012/Olympics

Dwyane Wade, Ray Allen Discuss Issue Of NBA Players Getting Paid For Olympic Play

Wade said jersey licensing could be a way to compensate Olympic basketball players
Heat G Dwyane Wade “issued a series of clarifications" on Twitter late Wednesday after earlier statements he made in regards to paying NBA players who participating in the Olympics, according to Ira Winderman of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. He first posted: "I'm reading a lot of reports coming out about my comments re: the Olympics and compensation. And I want to clear this up personally . . ." Followed by: "I responded 2 a specific question asked by a reporter on my thoughts of Olympians being paid. I never asked to be paid to PLAY." Followed by: "What I was referencing is there is a lot of Olympic business that happens that athletes are not a part of - and it’s a complicated issue." Followed by: "BUT my love 4 the game & pride 4 USA motivates me more than any $$$ amount" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 4/12). Wade today issued a statement that read, "'I do not want to be paid to go to the Olympics" (AP, 4/12). However, ESPN.com’s Michael Wallace interviewed Wade earlier in the day and wrote Wade is “among those who believe NBA players should be paid for playing with Team USA in the London Olympics.” Wade said, "It's a lot of things you do for the Olympics -- a lot of jerseys you sell. 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." Wade said that he “hasn't thought about how much players should be paid for their time.” 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.” He added, "I think (jersey) licensing could be a way ... maybe licensing may not be fair because everybody won't get the same amount” (ESPN.com, 4/11). Celtics G Ray Allen on Tuesday night was the first to address pay-for-play at the Olympics and said, "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” (FOXSPORTS.com, 4/11).

OFF BASE? YAHOO SPORTS’ Eric Freeman wrote there is “a certain selfishness to this view.” It is “hard to imagine” the USOC paying NBA players and “not everyone else involved in competition.” Still, there is “some value to be taken from these comments, because it helps prove that the ideas of honor and pride that overwhelm Team USA narratives aren't the full story.” Stars will play in London this summer now not just to “represent their countries, but to increase their international profiles and make some calculated statements about why they're willing to play in international tournaments” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/11).
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NBA, Olympics

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