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Cuban questions Olympic basketball model
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Posted: June 18, 2008
Sporting News staff reports
Sources have said Dallas Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd will be part of the U.S. Olympic team, and Mavs owner Mark Cuban isn't happy about that, the Dallas Morning News reports.
U.S. coach Mike Krzyzewski has said he will announce the Olympic team lineup on Monday. Cuban has another player due to play in Beijing, Dirk Nowitzki, if his German national team makes it through a qualifier in July.
"It's not that I don't like the idea of them representing their countries," Cuban told the newspaper. "If the Olympics were truly a nationalistic endeavor built on sport and part of the public domain, I would be willing to take risk and support their playing. What I don't like is that we lie to ourselves and pretend that the Olympians represent our country.
"They don't. They have taken relatively low paying jobs working for the Olympics, who in turn sell the broadcast and marketing rights for billions of dollars in profits, all the while creating enormous risk for those of us who pay them for their day jobs that support their families. It's amazing how players who are free agents won't participate, but those with guaranteed contracts will.
"I hate the fact that we lie to ourselves and pretend this is about representing country," Cuban said. "It's not. It's about money."
Cuban will pay Kidd and Nowitzki, two vital members of the Mavericks, more than $39.4 million next season.