Four years after bringing home the gold in Beijing, the men’s U.S. Olympic basketball team has once again risen to the top by narrowly beating Spain 107-100 in the tournament finale. Lead by NBA stars such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Pau Gasol, the London games showed a glimpse of how competitive international basketball has become and will continue to be in the future.
Despite the tournament’s immense succes, rumors have lingered that the NBA owners would like these Olympic games to be the last for their all-star players. They instead would prefer a soccer-style world cup that would allow the NBA to profit.
Ken Berger of CBSsports.com joined ‘Holden and Danny’ on Tuesday morning to discuss his interview with NBA commissioner David Stern about a possible NBA sponsored world cup.
NBA owners – most notably Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks – have blasted the International Olympic Committee for generating billions of dollars in revenue off of advertisements and TV deals from the tournament and want the format to be changed before the 2016 games.
“They believe that shifting the Olympic basketball tournament to a 23-and-under tournament and sending the big stars and the veteran stars to a world cup, similar to the soccer model, would be the way to go,” said Berger. “It could generate potentially, David Stern’s told people recently, billions of dollars.”
Though the IOC and NBA players have spoken out against changing the tournament, Berger believes that the opportunity will ultimately be too enticing for the pro’s to give up.
“A lot of countries that are involved in FIBA and FIBA itself kind of like the way the Olympic tournament is going but at the end of the day that tournament is really driven by the star power of the NBA players,” said Berger. “I think If the players become informed as to what this concept could be and how much money they could generate, not just for the owners but them since the players would get 50 percent of it, I think you might see some positions change on that.”