Skip to content

Mark Cuban wants NBA to create its own World Cup

Aug 3, 2014, 9:30 AM EDT

Mark Cuban Mark Cuban

Mark Cuban has been one of the staunchest critics of the NBA loaning its players for international competition.

The Mavericks owner doesn’t believe FIBA-run events, like the Word Cup and Olympics, help the NBA enough. Instead, Cuban has contended, they just leave NBA players at risk of injury.

In the wake of Paul George’s horrifying injury during a glorified World Cup practice, Cuban is reiterating his long-held point.

Cuban, via Marc Stein of ESPN:

“The (International Olympic Committee) is playing the NBA. The IOC is an organization that has been rife with corruption, to the point where a member was accused of trying to fix an Olympic event in Salt Lake. The IOC (pulls in) billions of dollars.

The players and owners should get together and create our own World Cup of Basketball.”

Cuban is a man of principle. His principle: making money.

In one respect, Cuban is right. The IOC is not some altruistic organization fulfilling a greater mission. It wants to make money.

Cuban just wants a piece of the pie.

However, he glosses over the advantages of NBA players participating in international events. For one, the NBA gets exposure which increases long-term revenue. Also, FIBA prevents teams around the world from poaching NBA players under contract. That regulation might change if the NBA bans its players from FIBA events.

Maybe those advantages don’t outweigh the costs. Cuban doesn’t think they do, and I tend to agree. But the issues is more complex than he presents.

There’s also the issue of players’ rights to participate in FIBA events, something specifically negotiated into the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Many players, especially foreign ones, expand their brands by representing their country. That leads to sponsorships and other streams of outside income. They certainly don’t want those to dry up.

Of course, if the NBA creates a rival World Cup and cuts the players in on the profits, they’d likely get on board. International basketball competitions can generate a lot of revenue, but only those getting a cut lend support.

Cuban wants in that club.

  1. sdelmonte - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Either way, players will get hurt. So bringing it up in relation to the George injury is basically saying “hey, as long I get more money, it’s okay if I lose a player.”

    • money2long - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      I don’t even feel that was the main sticking point of this article.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM

        Really money2long?

        That was the WHOLE point of the article.

        It began saying Cuban thinks the FIFA and Olympic group line their pockets and leave the players at risk.

        Cuban then said that players who are free agents don’t play because they don’t have a guaranteed long term deal in place.

        Then the article said that Cuban is a man of principle and his principle is MAKING money.

        Then the article says that Cuban just wants a piece of the pie. He’s transparent about that, which is more than can be said for the IOC.

        The article then says that NOT allowing the NBA players to play in these international tournaments could cost them (the players) money.

        Well, Cuban isn’t worried about the players losing money. He’s worried about losing money and others making it when he’s at risk. Both the IOC and the players make money but Cuban is at risk if his player is on one of those teams.

        But, if the NBA creates a rival World Cup and cuts the players in on the profits then Cuban is OK with that.

        Why is he OK with that? It’s not because the players couldn’t still get hurt, because they could just like in the Olympics.

        He’s OK with that because he and the league would be getting money to go along with the risk.

        He wants the money to go to him and not to line the pockets of the IOC members.

        The risk is there either way for the players but Cuban is not in favor of them playing for others like FIFA and the Olympics but he is OK with them playing for the leagues own international team.

      • limonadamas - Aug 3, 2014 at 4:49 PM

        That’s because FIBA doesn’t do jack for the players. The owners bear all the risk of injury. FIBA and IOC reap most of the benefit.

      • sportsfan18 - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:43 PM



        Cuban and the owners are bearing the risk of injury. the players aren’t as they have guaranteed deals and they get exposure on those teams.

        now, all Cuban wants is part of the money to go along with his risk which he would get if they made a rival to the FIFA world cup.

  2. fordmandalay - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    Because nothing will destroy the NBA’s reputation faster than losing to Argentina in an elimination round. GENIUS!!

  3. sumkat - Aug 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    The NBA has spent the last 30 years branding itself as an international game. For good reason, they are never going to overtake football, and probably never going to overtake baseball. They would of been in a constant 3/4 fight with the NHL. Internationally, they have the advantage. There is littler interest in hockey outside of Canada, Northern and Eastern Europe, and Russia. Basketball has done a great job of pushing into South America, Asia, the majority of Europe, and Africa. Their big advantage now is the international market (especially currently when most of their “large market” teams are in a down swing)

    Huge gamble now to pull out. Those parts of the world put more value on those events than we do in the U.S., thumbing your nose at that event may do a lot of damage to the popularity they have worked so hard to build up over the last 30 years. MAYBE they could get away with doing their own World Cup, but still going to the Olympics, but you would need all the other national teams to sign on. Teams that have been bribing, and getting bribed, by that same organization for twice as long. How many are going to be willing to turn their back on the IOC would cup?

  4. bostonian13 - Aug 3, 2014 at 12:04 PM

    Mark Cuban is the man!! Whoever disagrees with what he is saying just doesn’t like the guy. He’s right, and is one of few guys who will say what he is saying.

    Celtics fan.

    • sportsfan18 - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      he’s honest even when it isn’t popular

  5. androidgumby - Aug 3, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Tit for Tat.

  6. elcapitanfiscal - Aug 3, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    “We’ll make our own world cup. With blackjack and hookers.”

  7. onbucky96 - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    In honor of Tony Soprano, it sounds like Mark Cuban wants a taste of that pie…

  8. Bob Loblaw - Aug 4, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    How do you write 90% of an article NOT paying attention to what Cuban said, then your throwaway line is EXACTLY what Cuban said?

    You write how all the advantages the NBA and its players get playing in International competition, but don’t mention that the entire thrust of Cuban’s article is to create their own World Cup…the Owners and the Players. Duh.

    The first 90% of your article reads like Cuban is against all international competitions, which he CLEARLY is not. He knows the value of it, and wants to create his own WITH the players together. It would NOT be something the owners “cut the players in on”.

    Shoddy article at best.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Top 10 NBA Player Searches
  1. D. Rose (2325)
  2. K. Irving (1898)
  3. A. Davis (1716)
  4. L. James (1574)
  5. K. Durant (1532)
  1. K. Bryant (1509)
  2. R. Rubio (1332)
  3. T. Thompson (1318)
  4. A. Aminu (1307)
  5. M. Leonard (1271)