NBA Rumors: Will NBAPA Make Players Play Benedict Arnold in 2012 Olympics?
Every four summers, LA Lakers and Boston Celtics fans unite. New York Knicks fans offer the Indiana Pacers faithful some of their popcorn. The rivalries cease for just a few weeks to watch Team USA show the rest of the world no other country even deserves to step on the same basketball court, but that may not be the case in 2012.
After winning seven straight gold medals, they were cheated in 1972 finishing runner-up, and they’ve only failed to finish first twice since then. Some fans will tell you that blowouts are boring. Seriously, if you don’t enjoy watching Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul all on the same team, something is wrong with you.
The Olympics are supposed to be about national pride. Apparently the NBA Players Association doesn’t value playing for the country too much. An agent who was interview by ESPN expected the players association to discourage the summer games saying:
“If the league is heavy-handed with the players I don't see the guys playing. The union will take a hard line. I think it would be a huge problem -- global lure or not. It's accurate to say the players probably wouldn't play.”
If the NBA players skipped the games, Team USA would be forced to resort to using college kids like they used to do. They won plenty of gold medals doing that so winning would still be possible, especially with the international NBA players skipping as well. Still, it’s obviously more exciting to watch the best basketball players on the planet than the college all-star team.
And international basketball has gotten a lot stronger lately. If Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony couldn’t bring home the gold in 2004, you’d have to imagine a USA team full of college students would struggle as well.
We will see how much the American NBA players actually care about their country next summer.
David Daniels is a Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and a Syndicated Writer. Follow him on Twitter.
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