A Mavs-free Olympics surely suits Mark Cuban
From Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's standpoint, he can watch the entire thing with his mind at ease. The NBA announced that a record 39 of its players are on the rosters of the 12 national teams that will compete for gold over the next two weeks.
Not one is on the Mavs' recently completed 15-man roster.
Cuban is an outspoken critic of NBA player participation in the Olympics. For one, he believes the NBA and its teams should somehow be compensated for volunteering their players. Second, he cringes at a player getting injured on the Olympic stage and jeopardizing his availability on the NBA stage when Cuban's the one paying the bills.
Dirk Nowitzki, who will accept more than $20 million of Cuban's money just next season, hoped to lead a young German team back to the Olympics after his magnificent 2008 experience in Beijing. Cuban probably wasn't terribly upset when Germany failed to qualify last summer.
Of course, Nowitzki would later partially blame his early season knee problem on playing in last summer's European championship following the long run to the NBA title.
Rodrigue Beaubois fractured his left foot in the summer of 2010 preparing to play in the World Championships for France, and he still isn't the same player from his impressive rookie season. After a prolonged recovery period, Cuban made it clear to his developing guard that international ball was no longer in the stars. Beaubois is working out in Dallas instead of playing with Parker in London.
The San Antonio Spurs, who have seen Manu Ginobili sidelined by injuries sustained in international competition, will hold their collective breath with six players in the Olympics. Argentina's Ginobili is joined by France's Tony Parker, Boris Diaw and Nando de Colo, Brazil's Tiago Splitter and Australia's Patty Mills. Those six are due a combined $37.5 million next season.
The Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder have their entire 23-and-under core in London. Team USA's Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, plus Spain's Serge Ibaka will earn a combined $38.4 million next season.
If you hoped to have a rooting interest in an individual player with ties to your hometown Mavs, well, there's always Tyson Chandler.
And Yi Jianlian is playing for China.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the latest Mavericks news, Dirk Nowitzki and much more.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA Insider Chad Ford joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett discuss the upcoming NBA draft and possible moves the Mavericks could make.
Play Podcast ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about the NBA playoffs.
Play Podcast Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle gives his take on the contrasting styles of the Pacers and Knicks, Carmelo Anthony, Bulls-Heat, Tom Thibodeau, the state of the West and more.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to talk about who he would rather have if forced to choose between Dwight Howard and Chris Paul.
Play Podcast Tim MacMahon joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the possibility of Chris Paul joining the Mavericks and break down what kind of pitch Mark Cuban would have to make to the NBA's best point guard.
Play Podcast ESPN.com senior NBA writer Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to touch on the storylines in the NBA playoffs and offer a Mavs perspective.
Play Podcast Rick Carlisle joins Chuck Cooperstein and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Mavericks' disappointing season and what needs to happen for them to get back to the playoffs.