Heat's Wade thinks Olympians deserve pay
MIAMI — Add Miami guard Dwyane Wade to the list of Olympians who believe basketball players in the Games should be paid.
Boston guard Ray Allen, a member of the 2000 gold medal team, told FOX Sports Florida on Tuesday he believes Team USA players should be compensated. Wade, who won bronze in 2004 and gold in 2008 and likely will play this summer in London, said Wednesday he agrees.
"First of all, it’s an honor to play in the Olympics, but there are a lot of things you do for the Olympics. A lot of jerseys you sell. There are a lot of things you do. We play the whole summer," Wade said. "I do think guys should be compensated, just like I think college players should be compensated as well. Unfortunately, it's not that, but I think it should be something for it.''
Wade agreed with Allen that the best way to pay Olympic players would be through jersey sales, but he didn't specify an amount.
“You're not playing for the dollar, but that would be nice if you were to get compensated,’’ said Wade, who has said 2012 will be his last Olympics. "I totally agree (with Allen). I think licensing can be a way. Maybe you say licensing would maybe not be fair because everyone wouldn't get the same amount. But that's something that (others) got to worry about because this will be my last time around.''
Wade pointed to the sacrifice that players make to spend about 40 days during the summer training and playing for Team USA.
“The biggest thing is you get no rest,’’ Wade said. “You go to the end of the season and (Olympic) training camp is two weeks later. So you're giving up a lot to do it. It's something that you want to do. But it's taxing on your body.''
Two of Wade’s Miami teammates, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, are also Olympic veterans and are good bets to be playing in London this summer. But neither offered a ringing endorsement of what Allen said.
“I love representing my country, and I’ve done it since ’04, and I’m looking forward to doing it in London,’’ James said. “But I’m happy. [Being paid] doesn’t matter. I’m happy to be part of the team and be selected again.’’
James was Wade’s teammate in 2004 and 2008. Bosh was the teammate of both in 2008.
“It’s a huge sacrifice that you make, but then you have that thing just like in college. Basketball players (in the Olympics) are going to make more than the lacrosse guys or the gymnasts, so it’s kind of a tricky subject,’’ said Bosh, who said Allen has “an interesting perspective’’ but wouldn’t say if he agreed with him or not.
The U.S. Olympic Committee gives all Americans $25,000 for winning a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver and $10,000 for a bronze.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson