2012 Olympics: Wizards' Push to Get John Wall on Team USA Reveals Rift

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2012 Olympics: Wizards' Push to Get John Wall on Team USA Reveals Rift
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Team USA men's basketball rumors have been flying hard and fast over the last 24 hours, but this latest morsel from ESPN's Mark Stein caught my eye.

Apparently the Wizards want their best player—a guy who missed 15 percent of his rookie season with various ailments—to spend his offseason pounding hardwood against the world's best.

This comes in stark contrast to recent comments made by Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who called the NBA "stupid" for letting Olympic profiteers borrow the league's top assets free of charge.

The reason for the discrepancy is simple.

Cuban has established, older NBA stars on his roster—players that don't need the publicity or recognition an Olympic trip provides.

The Wiz and Wall, however, could use the boost.

Not only would a Wall appearance for Team USA maximize the point guard's exposure, potentially driving more consumers to the Wizard brand, it would serve as validation for the front office.

"Remember that first overall pick from two years ago, the guy who still can't hit a jump shot? Well, he's on TEAM USA. So there."

For a team like Washington, it makes all the sense in the world to have John Wall cast alongside Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook as one of the game's best point guards.

The same might be said for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving.

So while Cuban predictably painted David Stern as the patsy in his anti-Olympic screed, he might have missed the target. The biggest hurdle to ending NBA-player participation in the Olympics isn't The League writ large, but Cuban's fellow owners.

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