After Paul George’s gruesome injury during a FIBA scrimmage on Friday, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban called on the NBA to organize its own basketball World Cup.
“The [International Olympic Committee] is playing the NBA,” he told ESPN’s Marc Stein. “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. They make a killing and make Tony Soprano look like a saint.”
The agreement between FIBA and the NBA reportedly limits teams from preventing players from participating in international events unless there is “reasonable medical concern going in.”
“The pros in multiple sports are smart enough to not play when they are eligible free agents. But teams take on huge financial risk so that the IOC committee members can line their pockets,” he said. “The greatest trick ever played was the IOC convincing the world that the Olympics were about patriotism and national pride instead of money. The players and owners should get together and create our own World Cup of Basketball.”
ProBasketballTalk observed that “Cuban just wants a piece of the pie,” but at least “he’s transparent about that, which is more than can be said for the IOC.”