Manu Ginobili Needs Surgery On Ankle Injured During The Olympics Against Team USA
Olympics, Summer

Who Do NBA Players Owe Their Allegiance Too?

8/29/08 in Olympics, Summer   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

When Manu Ginobili went down against Team USA in Beijing, I didn't think much of it. He rolled his ankle a bit, he'll probably be fine once he gets some down time, I thought.

Well, I was wrong.

Manu is going to need surgery on his busted ankle (originally injured late last season) and, in horrible news for the Spurs, he will miss the start of the regular season.

The interesting thing about all of this is that the Spurs actually advised Manu not to play in the Olympics in order to rest his ankle. But he said no, wanting to defend the 2004 gold medal he won with Argentina.

Now, this of course brings up the huge question of should players who have a contract with an NBA team play in international competitions? After all, it doesn't seem that absurd for an NBA franchise to almost be allowed to totally run a guy's life that it has invested millions upon millions of guaranteed dollars in.

But there are other views too. Luckily, user dwyermaker on the site has the flip side for me:

One issue I heard continually tossed around in the media during the Olympics was the fact that NBA basketball players were being overused and abused by being forced to play a grueling Olympics basketball schedule.  First, the notion that the maximum six to eight game schedule over two weeks is too grueling for a professional basketball player is absolutely ridiculous. 
 
Second, what kind of hypocritical statement is it to say that these specific players (Ginoblia, Yao, etc) should take a stand against the IOC, their National Coaches, and Olympic sports in general when it is the NBA that is responsible for their injuries in the first place and has the most ridiculously grueling schedule of any professional basketball organization.  Look at the European teams' schedules and you may see a 45-50 game seasons, not even near the 82-game NBA regular season that leads into a potentially 28 game post-season.  You wonder who is responsible for Yao's leg issues and Ginobli's ankle. I don't think you have to blame the coaches or heads of the Olympic committees from China and Argentina for that. 
 
Not to mention that many players outside of the United States consider playing for their national teams a duty, not a privilege or even a right as the US media appears to portray it.  It's odd to me that a country that has sent so many young men to Iraq and Afghanistan to fight and die for their country can not understand Yao playing the first 25 minutes of a game of basketball on a newly repaired ankle.  If you don't think Yao knows the importance of these games to the image and future of China you are crazy.  And if you think its the coaches and national olympic committees sending him back out on the court when the game is out of hand and he shouldn't be playing you are out of your mind.  You don't get to lead your entire national team into your own national stadium carrying the flag of your country by worrying about what some fat cat owner of your NBA team in Texas thinks.  Besides, do you really think that the Spurs and Rockets are going to lose money if Yao and Ginobli sit out the first half of the season to rehab injuries that occurred playing in the ridiculously grueling NBA schedule anyway?  Please.  Yes, they may not make AS MUCH money, but I doubt anyone associated with either of those organization will be applying to receive food stamps any time soon even in the worst case scenario.

The point is that the real problem for these Olympic basketball athletes is not the IOC, their nation's leaders, nor the coaches.  The problem is the egomaniacal attitude of the NBA's owners, executives, and media members who think that every NBA player's allegiance should be to their NBA team first and God, country, and who knows what else second.  Personally, I believe that Yao Ming, Manu Ginoblia, Andres Nocioni and every other basketball player playing his heart out in these Olympics while injured knows exactly where their loyalties lie and has been acting anything but inappropriately under the circumstances.
 
I'm not necessarily in total disagreement, but I will say that even if the NBA is the real guilty party in injuring these guys, they're still paying them pretty well to get injured. Owners should have some right to at least advise players on what they'd like to see them do, given the fact that at the end of the day, the relationship between the NBA and its players is a business.

All I know for certain is this. The Spurs certainly can't be pleased with an aging roster that appears to finally be losing its grasp on its dominance. And when something like Ginobili's injury happens, you'll see plenty of excuses start to fly out of the bag in regards to who's responsible.

Surgery for Manu after aggravation [
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8/30/08   |   WBKsports   |   366 respect

Every pro basketball player risks injury each time he steps on the court. Injury can happen if you play on worn out legs, but look at the case of Elton Brand in Summer of 2007. The guy ruptured his Achilles Tendon during his usual daily workout. When Manu was hurt, it looked like he had stepped on Carmelo Anthony's foot as he was trying to cut to the basket.  The problem with Manu's injury is that he was cleared to play when he shouldn't have been. He just hurt it in May...It probably would have been better to give it 4-5 months to heal. Someone in his rehab program must have pushed the process so he could play for his country. Although a Lakers fan and Spurs hater, I have to say that Manu Ginobili is one the best basketball players in the World. I hope he gets that fixed so he can get back to playing with The BIg Fundamental and Tony Parker ...

8/29/08   |   dwyermaker   |   39 respect

As to the issue of these players having contracts for millions of dollars and should not be risking their health because of this,  you have to understand that NBA owners could put stipulations in contracts about not playing in the Olympics or if you get hurt playing for your national team that the guarantee is no longer payable, etc.  Most likely these teams would either lose the Yao Mings and Manu Ginoblis of the world or have to pay such a premium that they are not willing to do it.  Regardless, NBA teams are not without recourse here.

Just as taking on a player with a difficult personality is a risk some NBA teams are willing to take if his talent and skill level is there, so too must be taking on International players who prioritize their national teams. 

8/29/08   |   100%InjuryRate   |   1283 respect

krysyndaday wrote:
First and foremost, stop the whinning about the 82 game season. These players know they play 82 games and they are paid damn well, in fact too damn well to play basketball. They do not like the 82 game season or believe it puts too much strain on their bodies, then either quite or ask the coach ride the pine more often (or I guess fold out chair more often). Either way, the NBA's schedule is not something new or something that was just sprung on these athletes at the last minute. 

Americas pro athletes are paid too much, babied too much, get away with too much and/or excused for their behaviors more than they should be.

But if you take away their ability to play their sport for international purposes during the off season because the NBA pays this "ALL THIS MONEY", then so would hold true for NFL players whom play in the Canadian leagues or baseball player who play in the minors. Maybe I am missing the boat, but what the article appears to be saying is that because the NBA pays them "a lot" of money, they should not engage in another sport outside of the NBA or play the same sport for an international team.

We might as well go as far as saying they cannot participate in ANY extracuricular activities that might injur them. So, for those NBA players who play table tennis, your days are over. You may hurt your shoulder or elbow and then cannot shoot hoops properly thus rendering you useless in the NBA.

I know you're being sarcastic, but teams do do the kind of things you're poking fun at. They write stipulations into contracts that say "you can't ride a motorcycle" or "you can't play pickup football." And if a player gets injured doing one of those things, the team can withhold paying them.

This is a business, and part of the business is a players body. You don't want to be paying a guy the last $40 million of a guaranteed contract while he's in a wheelchair.

By the way, I don't know of any NFL players that also play in the CFL at the same time.

8/29/08   |   krysyndaday

(Edited by krysyndaday)

First and foremost, stop the whinning about the 82 game season. These players know they play 82 games and they are paid damn well, in fact too damn well to play basketball. They do not like the 82 game season or believe it puts too much strain on their bodies, then either quite or ask the coach ride the pine more often (or I guess fold out chair more often). Either way, the NBA's schedule is not something new or something that was just sprung on these athletes at the last minute. 

Americas pro athletes are paid too much, babied too much, get away with too much and/or excused for their behaviors more than they should be.

But if you take away their ability to play their sport for international purposes during the off season because the NBA pays this "ALL THIS MONEY", then so would hold true for NFL players whom play in the Canadian leagues or baseball player who play in the minors. Maybe I am missing the boat, but what the article appears to be saying is that because the NBA pays them "a lot" of money, they should not engage in another sport outside of the NBA or play the same sport for an international team.

We might as well go as far as saying they cannot participate in ANY extracuricular activities that might injur them. So, for those NBA players who play table tennis, your days are over. You may hurt your shoulder or elbow and then cannot shoot hoops properly thus rendering you useless in the NBA.