Dec 29, 2010; Houston, TX, USA; Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade (3) sits on the bench after having his lip taped up during the game against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center. Miami defeated Houston125-119. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-US PRESSWIRE

Dwyane Wade Wants Olympic Players To Be Paid in Pennies Not Pride


To be an Olympic athlete is to play for honor, respect, national pride and a medal. To Dwyane Wade, that’s not enough he wants to be compensated monetarily.

Dwyane Wade is demanding that NBA players who make the Olympic roster must be compensated for giving up time to represent the USA(Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-US PRESSWIRE)

Who says this country isn’t run on money nowadays.

Just look at the economy and how that effects our emotions. When things are good (in other words when money is plentiful) we’re all happy and the world is our oyster. But when the Dow dips 3 percent, we panic and withdraw all of Jimmy’s college fund or face the possibility of it drying up with the stock market.

Money drives us in this country and that couldn’t be more explanatory then in Dwyane Wade spearheading a movement to get Olympic basketball players on the USA roster paid and paid good.

It’s not enough that you’re playing for your countries honor, no way man I need cold hard cash regardless of the outcome.

Some may say this isn’t greedy, but fair. But little do they know, the Olympic Committee does indeed payout to countries that earn medals. But what Dwyane Wade is suggesting is that players get paid no matter the outcome. If the USA doesn’t win gold, tough cookies they still want a pay check.

Representing your country isn’t enough for these greedy multimillion dollar athletes anymore, everything has to have a dollar amount attached to it.

Now the idea of compensation for playing in the Olympics isn’t a bad idea, it’s just a horribly greedy premise they way Wade and Ray Allen are proposing it.

The whole reason Wade wants athletes paid is because they really are taking time away from their families and precious offseason time to play at literally the highest level. You don’t get any more global then the Olympics.

But to suggest that payment needs to be provided is harkening back to old Edward G. Robinson gangster flicks where money is being passed under the table and the wold wink-wink is given when the buyer says “Go get ‘em kid”.

There should be a payment system — but it should be an insurance system. It hasn’t happened yet but this whole lockout situation this past summer has really woken players up to their worth. Those selected to Team USA are putting themselves at risk for injury. We saw this become a problem in the World Baseball Classic where Chipper Jones injured himself and missed time for the Braves once the MLB season began.

This same situation can be applied to the Olympics. Who’s to say LeBron james doesn’t tear and ACL against Team China and then in turn threaten his season with the Heat?

It’s in this scenario that we should have an insurance system in place where players are not held personally accountable for any injuries sustained and must be paid in full for the time they will miss on their NBA contracts (at least those who don’t have guaranteed deals). The team the player plays for should be compensated as well for literally giving for their country.

But this greed laced proposal where whiney, overpaid superstars want pay to represent their country is weak at best. I’m not a rah-rah Patriotic type of guy where everything and anything slandered against America is a smite against freedom. I tend to align with the George Carlin’s and Bill Hick’s of the world.

But even the most critical patriot is going to have something negative to say about getting paid to represent their country. Here’s the thing: the Olympics happens every four years. If you are too tired to play then don’t play. Don’t sit on a pedestal and demand that you be compensated for something you don’t have to do.

No one is holding a gun to Dwyane Wade’s poor head and forcing him to play basketball against his will for Team USA. No one is going to Court Marshall Ray Allen if he says ‘No Thanks’ to an invitation to play on Team USA.

If you’d rather enjoy your freedom by relaxing over the summer then do that. There is nothing wrong with it, you earned it by playing 82 games in an NBA season. But don’t get on a high horse and begin to make demands for a non-mandatory event.

Ray Allen literally went as far as stopping a hair shy of saying playing for your country isn’t enough.

“You talk about the patriotism that guys should want to play for, but you [need to] find a way to entice the guys,” Allen was quoted as saying.

Wade never suggest a specific dollar amount, but you’d be hard pressed to believe it’s not in the millions. Allen suggested a portion of jersey sale revenue be split between the players.

So to Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen I say this (which makes me sound like all those ultra-conservatives out there that Wade is forcing myself to stand by): if you want to represent your country so bad and get paid for it, take 50% of the slary a soldier gets for actually representing their country and putting their life on the line.

Take 50% because you’re doing 50% of what they do. All you’re playing in is a game of basketball. The most danger you’re in is getting roughed up by a giant European center.

It’s actually insulting to suggest that you want to represent your country in a game of basketball and take more pay then a soldier who may never set foot on American soil again.

You play for the honor, the pride and the medal. You play so that you show that soldier what he or she is laying their life on the line for. Do we really want to blantanly admit that young men and women are dying so that Dwyane Wade and people like him can get compensated for missing a summer on the beach?

Are we that obsessed with money?

Even LeBron James — the most hated player in the NBA — backed off Wade’s comments saying he doesn’t care about money he wants to represent his country and that’s payment enough.

I think Wade let the whole lockout situation and the power it brought to the players go to his head — which has obviously swelled to an epic size. He claimed that there was behind the scenes stuff which makes it a complicated issue us simple folk just don’t understand.

I’m sorry but I don’t want someone who wants to be compensated with money representing me or my country — plain and simple.

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