Report: Mark Cuban: Players should form 'own World Cup of Basketball'
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban criticized the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Saturday in the wake of the Pacers' Paul George going down with a potential season-ending leg injury during a USA Basketball showcase the night before, according to a report on Saturday night from Marc Stein of ESPN.
Cuban called for NBA players to form their "own World Cup of Basketball" that would not require them to adhere to the rules and regulations of the IOC and FIBA World Basketball. The NBA has an agreement with FIBA which says that "only players themselves can refuse their country's invite to play for the national team except in the event of a 'reasonable medical concern,'" as explained by Stein.
Cuban also criticized the "inequities" -- as Stein wrote -- between the NBA and FIBA whereby the international basketball organization stands to gain most of the profit by featuring NBA players while the individual NBA teams assume the financial risk if a player, like Paul George, goes down with an injury. George is set to enter the first season of a five-year, $92 million contract with the Pacers. On Friday night, he went down with a leg injury in the U.S. exhibition game in Las Vegas that will likely keep him out for most if not all of the season.
On Saturday, Cuban put forth his own general idea of how worldwide basketball should be played from the perspective of NBA players and owners:
"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."
- Marc Weinreich