In 2008, Redeem Team helped bring world basketball bragging rights back to the homeland after failed attempts to throw NBA players on a roster with the conventional thinking that they could overwhelm organized teams with talent.
The players on that team honored a three-year commitment leading up to the 2008 games and none of them participated in the World Championship in Turkey in 2010.
Before 08, there was a problem getting the leagues best players interested in competing for gold and with a condensed season and many players from that roster set for long playoff runs, the roster for 2012s Olympic games in London might look completely different as rest will be a priority for many after their respective seasons are concluded.
As Boston Celtics Ray Allen told Fox Sports Florida, pay could be a way to entice guys to want to participate.
You talk about the patriotism that guys should want to play for, but you (need to) find a way to entice the guys, Allen said. Its not the easiest thing in the world if you play deep in the playoffs and then you get two, three weeks off and then you start training again to play more basketball where it requires you to be away from home and in another country. Its fun, but your body does need a break.
Everybody says, Play for your country. But (NBA players are) commodities, your businesses. You think about it, you do camps in the summer, you have various opportunities to make money. When you go overseas and play basketball, you lose those opportunities, what you may makeIf Im an accountant and I get outsourced by my firm, Im going to make some money somewhere else.
Allen makes a good point, especially with the toll this condensed season has already taken on a number of Olympic hopefuls for this years games in London, although its sure to be taken wrongly by many as players are already making millions and the belief that representing ones country should be done out of pride and honor, not financial gain.
The Celtics guard goes on to say that players should receive an unspecified amount from sales of the jerseys and other products that are sold with their names and likeness on it.
The U.S. Olympic Committee provides every American with 25,000 for winning a gold medal, 15,000 for silver and 10,000 for bronze.
The Olympics also allow athletes the chance to grow their own personal brands overseas, but not every player will have those marketing and branding advantages.
So, should players be paid for representing their countries?