When it was first reported that Miami Heat All Star Dwyane Wade stated that Olympic hoopsters “should be compensated” for their time there was something that did not sit exactly right.
Ray Allen, all-time 3-point champion of the Boston Celtics and former Olympian (2000), was the first to say it, in an interview with FoxSports, a day earlier.
The basic argument, reported at the time, was that it takes a lot of time and energy away from everything else in one’s life, and that the product companies make money selling more gear. D-Wade said, “It’s a lot of things you do for the Olympics — a lot of jerseys you sell.”
The point about products is interesting, especially in light of the fact that the US Olympic hoopsters are pros and many, if not all of them, earn endorsement money, be it from specific basketball related items (like Nike shoes) or hawking burgers or insurance.
One of the reasons a company chooses to pay athletes to endorse their product or service is due to the high profile.
Thus, when a pro baller goes to the Olympics, regardless of his current visibility status, that profile will always go up even more, especially with a Gold Medal. A higher profile will then mean, in many cases, more endorsements, new endorsements, other ways that money finds its way into the pockets of the pro.
And, earnings for those pros endorsing products generally far outweighs their hefty NBA salary.
Thus, it is good D-Wade sort of back-stepped. He did not outright reverse. He just said “he” doesn’t need to get paid to participate in the 2012 Olympics.
His clarification: “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.”
And, we do look forward to Dwyane and his teammates taking the Gold.
Over For Now.
Main Street One