Yahoo Sports reports that the NBA has entered discussions with international basketball entity FIBA to create a "World Cup of Basketball" in which they would control the revenues generated from international competition.
(David) Stern says the NBA will take time to deliberate how it will proceed in the future, but multiple league and international sources insist there's little chance the league will ever send its best players to the Summer Olympics beyond the 2012 London Games. The NBA has long wanted to best protect its financial investments in players by better controlling the medical and training staffs used in international competition.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told Yahoo! Sports he isn't aware of the NBA's specific intentions in possibly moving its star players to the rebranded World Cup, but says he has lobbied for much more complete control of the tournament. He sees no reason to partner with FIBA or anyone else. He wants the NBA to own, operate and profit on a global tournament using the league's stars.
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We've argued that the league should go to 23-and-under, and our colleague Matt Norlander has looked at what a 23-and-under team would look like. It's probably for the best, despite the fact it will make the U.S. winning everything all the time that much more difficult. We want them to win, but they want the money. It is what it is.
The wear and tear on the bodies for nothing but the satisfaction of representing your country isn't enough for them. That's not a judgement or support, it's just a fact. Dwyane Wade in particular has talked about wanting compensation for involvement in Team USA. The players just don't want to surrender their summers for no compensation. The honor of it has worn off by the time they've done it once or twice, another reason to go with 23-and-under.
The World Cup idea is fascinating, but you have to wonder how much different it will be from the current FIBA World tournament. It could be interesting with more teams involved. Certainly the NBA's marketing power globally would do wonders for getting the hype up about the tournament.
One thing's certain. As we look back at Dream Team I 20 years ago, it's clear that this is the last ride for the superstars of the NBA.