Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Updated: April 12, 10:28 AM ET
Dwyane Wade eyes Olympic pay
By Michael Wallace
MIAMI -- Count two-time Olympian and Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade among those who believe NBA players should be paid for playing with Team USA in the London Olympics.
Wade, the leading scorer on the 2008 national team that won a gold medal in China, said he agreed with Boston Celtics guard Ray Allen that players should be compensated for their time participating in the Summer Games. Allen first addressed the issue Tuesday night in an interview with FoxSports.com before the Celtics beat the Heat in Miami.
Allen, 36, is nearing the end of a playing career that included a stint with the national team that won the gold medal during the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. But Wade, 30, remains in a pool of players on Team USA's current roster that will compete at this summer's Olympics.
"It's a lot of things you do for the Olympics -- a lot of jerseys you sell," Wade said after the Heat's practice on Wednesday in advance of Thursday's game against Chicago. "We play the whole summer. I do think guys should be compensated. Just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it's not there. But I think it should be something, you know, there for it."
Wade said he hasn't thought about how much players should be paid for their time. But he said there is a demanding schedule that comes with a commitment to the national team. This summer, NBA players whose teams advance deep into the playoffs could have only a couple of weeks of downtime before the start of Team USA's training camp in late July.
The gold-medal game is scheduled for Aug. 12, about a month before many NBA players resume workouts to gear up for training camps that open in late September or early October.
"The biggest thing is now you get no rest," Wade said. "So you go to the end of the season, [Team USA] training camp is two weeks later. You're giving up a lot to do it. It's something you want to do. But it's taxing on your body. You're not playing for the dollar. But it would be nice if you would get compensated."
Later on Twitter, Wade clarified his thoughts to his followers: "What I was referencing is there is a lot of Olympic business that happens that athletes are not a part of - and it's a complicated issue.
"BUT my love 4 the game & pride 4 USA motivates me more than any $$$ amount. I repped my country in 2004 when we won the bronze medal and stood proudly to receive our gold medal in 2008 in Beijing. It's always been an honor for me to be a part of the USA Olympic family...and I'm looking forward to doing
it again in London this summer."
On Tuesday night, Allen told FoxSports.com that sharing profits from the sale of Olympic game jerseys would be acceptable.
"You talk about the patriotism that guys should want to play for, but you [need to] find a way to entice the guys," Allen was quoted as saying in the interview. "It's 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. It's fun, but your body does need a break."
Wade supported Allen's comments.
"I totally agree," Wade said. "I think [jersey] licensing could be a way ... maybe licensing may not be fair because everybody won't get the same amount. [There] should be some way. But that's something they've got to worry about because this will be my last time around."
Heat players LeBron James and Chris Bosh are also on the Team USA roster for the Summer Games. But neither player would say if he agreed with Wade and Allen regarding player compensation.
"I love representing my country, man," James said. "I've done it since 2004 and I'm looking forward to doing it in London. As far as [pay], I don't know, man. It doesn't matter. I'm happy to be a part of the team, to be selected again."