Dallas Mavericks owner and naked billionaire Mark Cuban has long been against the NBA's partnership with FIBA and the International Olympic committee, and Paul George's injury in Friday night's Team USA scrimmage gave him another opportunity to rip the current system of international play.
"The [International Olympic Committee] is playing the NBA. 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 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.
"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."
Cuban's NBA World Cup idea is self-serving, but interesting. This hypothetical tournament's revenue would go back to the NBA. A TV deal for such an event, in addition to ticket sales, could theoretically increase basketball-related income and help raise the salary cap, a benefit for players as well as Cuban and the rest of the owners.
For now, George will likely miss next season, and the Pacers will receive insurance on only a portion of his $15.8 million contract. Indiana has the option of replacing George using the disabled player exception, but using the $5.305 million exception would make the Pacers a luxury tax-paying team in a lost season. As for Cuban's proposal, a World Cup generating millions seems like better insurance for owners and players than whatever the Pacers end up receiving this season.