Miami Heat captain Dwyane Wade is looking forward to the summer Olympic Games in London later this year -- but there is one thing that would make him cherish the experience a little more. Wade said today that he thinks Olympic athletes should be paid for the time they devote to Team USA.
"It's a lot of things you do for the Olympics -- a lot of jerseys you sell," Wade told ESPN's Michael Wallace. "We play the whole summer. I do think guys should be compensated. Just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it's not there. But I think it should be something, you know, there for it."
Wade was the leading scorer for Team USA in 2008, when the Americans took home gold from Beijing. He commented then that the summer was taxing, with very little rest in between the end of the NBA season and the beginning of the Games -- that problem will be even worse this season, with the lockout pushing the NBA Finals into late June. Team USA workouts begin in July.
Wade was echoing the sentiments of the Boston Celtics' Ray Allen, who said NBA players needed more enticement to compete in the Olympics. "It's not the easiest thing in the world if you play deep in the playoffs and then you get two, three weeks off and then you start training again to play more basketball, where it requires you to be away from home and in another country," Allen said. "It's fun, but your body does need a break."