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Report: Stern, NBA eye partnership with FIBA on basketball World Cup

Jun 20, 2012, 10:18 AM EDT

US Kevin Durant (C) celebrates with his

This summer in London the United States will send its best players to London to compete for Olympic gold. Well, it’s best players minus Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose… okay, we’re sending our best healthy players to compete for Olympic gold.

But David Stern has said he wants this to be it — by Brazil in 2016 he wants the Olympics to be an under-23 tournament like is done for Olympic soccer. Top stars would only be called on once every four years for the World Championships. You know Stern is pushing for this because his owners — most vocally Mark Cuban but many others — don’t want their best players taking on the extra responsibility (and injury risk, and wear and tear).

But there’s another side to this — the NBA wants some money out of these international tournaments, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo.

For the use of its most marketable players, the league office and many NBA owners are determined to create a financial partnership with FIBA for a World Cup that would allow the NBA to significantly share in the windfall of revenues.

“The owners would be a lot more comfortable letting star players play internationally if they’re sharing in the revenue,” one league source told Yahoo! Sports.

It’s all about the Benjamins. Money generated from Olympic basketball goes to the International Olympic Committee and the NBA owners see none of it. They want to get paid.

A partnership with FIBA changes the economic model for the major international basketball tournaments. Now, if the NBA gets a cut the other top leagues that send players — the Spanish ABC league — may want a cut of revenue as well. But that could be worked out.

Bottom line, if you want to know who will represent the USA in Brazil in four years look at the guys who are 19 and under now.

By the way, Cuban still isn’t happy. He tells Woj the NBA should start and own its own major international tournament with its stars so it makes all the money. Spoken like a true billionaire owner.

  1. echech88 - Jun 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    So they want out of the Olympics because it puts their players’ health at risk every four years and prefer that they play in another tournament that happens…every four years.

    Translation: It has nothing whatsoever to do with fear over the health of their players. They are more than OK with LeBron risking his knees in international play so long as they are getting paid for it.

    What is nice about the Olympics is that you get all the casual fans who may not necessarily be NBA fanatics to latch on and watch and care because its part of the entire Olympic platform and brand. A brand new start up tournament would appear to only have the attention of legit, non-casual hoops fans.

  2. ljl2 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    you misunderstand. right now they are playing in 2 tournaments that each happen every four years. therefor, they are participating every 2 years. this eliminates participation in one tournament (the Olympics) for those over 23 while using it to train those under 23 for the world championships.

  3. fanz928 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Olympics could just push this off you’re playing for your own country its not about money it pride and honor and plus a gold medal

  4. cantonbound13 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    First Stern needs to fix the NBA Finals & hand LeBron a ring.

  5. spook208 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    What the hell happened to being happy playing for your country’s honor? Greed and arrogance is all this is. Some of the highest paid athlete’s in the world and they need more cash? It’s the Olympics man, get over yourselves! Just one more reason our great country is so messed up, our pride is being replaced by greed and that’s embarrassing.

  6. bucrightoff - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

    Do we really need the possibility of an international incident when Stern fixes this tournament?

    • michflaguy - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM


    • j0esixpack - Jun 20, 2012 at 4:32 PM

      Beat me to it! Well done!

      Might as well create a new league where Tim Donaghy won’t be prohibited from officiating *cough* fixing games *cough*

  7. acdc363 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:56 PM


  8. camnellum12 - Jun 20, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    It sounds like these players are property rather than employees. These damn greedy owners are killing the integrity and hubris of the sport, I hope they don’t put the ads on the jerseys soon..

  9. michflaguy - Jun 20, 2012 at 1:30 PM

    Great…another bone-head move by the worst commissioner is professional sports.
    Stern is like a boxer who has hung on way too long.
    His heyday was the 80’s & 90’s…and he did great things back then.
    But this move will just water down and already watered down product. Hell, the NBA has too many teams…we don’t need another LEAGUE to throw into the professional b-ball mix.
    Maybe Stern’s plan is to take over the entire league and control ALL the trades for EVERY team.
    We all saw how well that worked out for New Orleans & the Lakers this year.

  10. klownboy - Jun 20, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    All for the love of money. Stern is such a pompous ass…

  11. zuiyo - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    The Spanish league is called ACB, not ABC. ACB as in “Asociación de Clubs de Baloncesto” or “Basketball Club Association”.

  12. zuiyo - Jun 20, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    By the way, Olympics is as much about business as the NBA or FIBA. In fact, Olympics and the International Olympic Committee created most paradigms used nowadays to market competitive sport in any country.

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