There is no bigger detractor of the NBA's involvement in the Olympics than Dallas Mavericks Prime Minister Mark Cuban, who thinks the Olympics are a for-profit business that exploits free labor.
Team USA basketball chairmen Jerry Colangelo responded to Cuban's feelings this morning.
"The ownership has the right and the platform to express opinions. I would say that there is another side to the story," Colangelo said. "What we have done with our program has brought great value to the NBA as a whole. As a good partner in the NBA every owner should recognize that that added value has added something to their franchise. So there is always two sides to every story.
"I think the best story the NBA had when we marched to the gold medal in Beijing (in 2008) was us. And that's worth a lot."
Colangelo is right. Unlike 2004 in Athens when that team won bronze, and was universally despised both at home and abroad, the '08 team generated nothing but positive vibes. That was an easy team to cheer for.
Colangelo later added: "In the sense the players are very valuable assets, there is no question about that. And the NBA gains by the success these players have on the international stage. We are in a global economy. The NBA has been at the forefront of dealing with the global market place. The participation and sucess of the players has brought great opportunities for the players and the NBA in its marketing efforts around the globe."
Translation: Mark, your pocket his heavier because of the Olympics. Deal with it.
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