Kobe Bryant is currently participating in his second Olympic Games and he has fallen in love with the chance to represent the United States of America. Instead of suiting up for the city of Los Angeles or the Lakers, Bryant is playing for the millions of people living in America.
As of this point, the American basketball players do not get paid for international basketball appearances, but some believe they should be compensated. This debate as been going on for a while, and Bryant chimed in on whether or not players like him should be given money for their efforts, The Hoop Doctors.
Bryant also sided somewhat with Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, who said earlier this year that players should get paid for playing in the Olympics. ‘There’s some truth to that,’ Bryant said. ‘But we’re all here because we enjoy playing. Even though a lot of us probably share the same opinion, it’s not like we’re saying, ‘Well, we’re not going to play if you don’t pay us.’ We play. We do it because we want to.”
Even though the Olympic basketball players are sponsored by large companies like Nike, they do not get a share of the profits. Millions of fans buy their jerseys, but the NBA athletes cannot take advantage of their world-wide fame.
NBA players are some of the most popular figures in all of sports and whenever they travel overseas, they are surrounded by fans. Kobe Bryant is one of the most well known athletes this world has ever seen and it is on display during these Olympics. Kobe is constantly being asked for interviews and autographs, showing just how influential he has become.
Yes, these players chose to play for the United States and already know that they will not be getting paid for their efforts. Still, players like Kobe and LeBron James bring in millions for their superiors and they should get some piece of the pie.
So Lakers Nation, what do you think, should Olympic basketball athletes get paid?