As you probably know, the NBA, led by odd couple Mark Cuban (Oscar) and David Stern (Felix), are pushing to have the Olympic team made up of players under 23. Cuban argues that the NBA takes the risk of developing the players and runs the risk of seeing them injured, but there are a couple of flaws with his logic.
First, at least in Beijing and soon to be London, several players came back from the Olympics dramatically improved. So you certainly can't argue that it's hurting them, unless they are injured. And that could happen at any time.
But there's a second part, something that kind of crept up on us over the last several days, and it's this: the idea that the NBA is this force for basketball good and that they are taking all the risk.
We could be wrong, but we can't think of a single NBA arena which was built without taxpayer money, and we can think of several without trying which were essentially extorted from the public under threat of moving.
Well, the taxpayers take an enormous interest and pride in the U.S. Olympic basketball program. And this is how we're repaid? If the NBA wants to take all the risk, then take it. But don't ask fans to buy your arenas if you're not willing to give back.