FanDuel - WFBC

April 22, 2012

Cuban: NBA 'Stupid' to Let Stars in Olympics: "If you look up stupid in the dictionary, you see a picture of the USA Dream Team playing for free for corporate America so the U.S. Olympic Committee can make millions of dollars. If you come up with something that you own, that you give it to me for free so I can make billions of dollars, I want it. And it has nothing to do with patriotism. It's all about money. You don't see the Olympic Committee saying, 'Oh we made so much money. Let's give it to people.'" -- Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban

posted by rcade to basketball at 09:33 AM - 19 comments

Where does all the Olympic Committee money go?

posted by bperk at 11:09 AM on April 22

Here's a fairly high-level synopsis of the 2011 revenues and expenditures.

$72 million in grants to organizations and athletes; $25 million in salaries; $14 million on printing, catering and trips; $5.2 million in programs and services outside of the U.S.; $5.5 million to the IOC; and another like $70 million somewhere else in their $191million total expenditures, while pocketing $60 million in profit for the year in 2011.

So yeah, I think Cuban has a point that there is a lot of money being spent, not a lot of it directly on athletes...although one synopsis on one year's tax return isn't terribly telling.

posted by dfleming at 11:44 AM on April 22

Cuban's argument makes it simple: he's a capitalist who wants to protect his investments. Understandable, but he takes NBA basketball and tries to extend his argument to the entire Olympics. How many Olympic athletes actually get paid enough to comfortably live without a real job? There still are enough sports with athletes who are true amateurs or who receive nominal pay from competitions.

posted by jjzucal at 01:10 PM on April 22

Gee, isn't it wonderful that Mark Cuban is so worried about those poor, underprivileged NBA players having to appear in the Olympics for nothing more than their expenses. Somehow it comes across as disingenuous for professionals, who are paid well for their services in their various leagues, to complain about not being paid for Olympic service. Before the London games are done, you will hear NBC go on and on about athletes in the sports that are not generally considered as 'professional' who have struggled, put aside careers, used their own funds, or relied on support from their families and friends in order to compete. These people should be paid something more than a stipend. Perhaps the NBA millionaires could contribute?

posted by Howard_T at 01:18 PM on April 22

If Lebron James comes down with a rebound and lands on some Lithuanian forward's foot and proceeds to "Joba Chamberlain" his ankle, then that will be the last time the NBA players go to the Olympics.

posted by grum@work at 02:10 PM on April 22

Cuban really should take it up with Stern and the other owners who must believe that it helps grow the game. The NBA isn't allowing their players to play in the Olympics to be charitable.

posted by bperk at 03:52 PM on April 22

Somehow it comes across as disingenuous for professionals, who are paid well for their services in their various leagues, to complain about not being paid for Olympic service.

Cuban isn't complaining about athletes going unpaid. He's complaining about himself going unpaid. He's got a good argument. The last Olympics TV deal was for $4.4 billion. Lots of money is being made.

posted by rcade at 04:37 PM on April 22

I'd say he's complaining about not getting compensated for potential loss, more precisely. If it could be guaranteed that his players would come back from the Olympics in the same condition they left in, he probably wouldn't care.

posted by Etrigan at 05:24 PM on April 22

If you look up "every athletic kid's dream" in the dictionary you see an athlete competing for an Olympic gold medal.

posted by DudeDykstra at 11:20 PM on April 22

If you look up "every athletic kid's dream" in the dictionary you see an athlete competing for an Olympic gold medal.

It must be an American dictionary.

I'm pretty sure the British, Italian, Canadian, and Indian version have different entries for that.

posted by grum@work at 11:31 PM on April 22

Must be a weird feeling being a member of such a small group of well paid and extremely talented individuals, and traveling overseas to compete in an event using those very talents but where someone else is making all the money.

One would think that everyone else working an Olympic event - from the ballboys all the way up to the tv executives - is being paid.

From an economic standpoint, not having to pay the players is a really good racket.

posted by phaedon at 12:26 AM on April 23

One would think that everyone else working an Olympic event - from the ballboys all the way up to the tv executives - is being paid.

At the winter Olympics in Vancouver they used over 18,500 volunteers.

posted by grum@work at 01:30 AM on April 23

If you look up "every athletic kid's dream" in the dictionary you see an athlete competing for an Olympic gold medal.

I think that depends on the sport and whether there's a pro league for it that kids care about. As a kid I dreamed about Olympic glory once every four years.

posted by rcade at 09:38 AM on April 23

If they were holding the Olympics in Syria, I'd make Metta World Peace the first selection on my dream team.

posted by beaverboard at 09:40 AM on April 23

If you look up "every athletic kid (whose parents are into a sport that's not football, baseball, basketball or hockey)'s dream" in the dictionary you see an athlete competing for an Olympic gold medal.

posted by Etrigan at 02:06 PM on April 23

Just being a pedant here, but what about soccer, cricket, sumo wrestling and every X-Games sport that isn't an Olympics sport?

posted by rcade at 02:44 PM on April 23

Foreign athletic kids don't count. They dream of eating and not being blown up by drones.

posted by Etrigan at 04:01 PM on April 23

Crap. Now I feel guilty for laughing.

posted by rcade at 04:21 PM on April 23

Foreign athletic kids don't count. They dream of eating and not being blown up by drones.

This made my day.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 04:54 PM on April 23

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