Blake Griffin Wants to Win Gold Medal Not Get Paid

February 26, 2012; Orlando FL, USA; Eastern Conference guard Dwyane Wade (3) of the Miami Heat shoots against Western Conference forward Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers (32) during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Los Angeles Clippers forward recently appeared on the Doug Gottlieb show and talked about his all-around game and some questions about the upcoming Olympics. When asked how he wants to evolve his game in the future Griffin responded he wanted to, “just keep working on my all-around game. You know, I’m trying to improve all around, you know in the post and stepping out and shooting jumpers. The biggest thing for me is to help my team win. And as long as we do that, all the other stuff will come in time.”

Griffin was also asked what his opinion was on Dwyane Wade’s recent suggestion that Olympic basketball players should be paid to offer their services; Griffin politely disagreed: “to be honest, I didn’t really hear the whole story about that. But for me personally, it’s an honor to be able to play for your country, so you know that in itself is plenty. But you know in some ways guys like him and some of the other guys are dedicating a lot of time, and they have dedicated a lot of time over the past 4, 5 summers, however long they’ve played. But you know, like I said, for me to be honest playing for your country and trying to win a gold is enough in itself.”

Griffin is having an excellent year playing alongside fellow All-Star starter Chris Paul averaging 20.6 points and 10.9 rebounds per game. I tend to agree with Griffin on this topic. NBA players are probably the last Olympians who should be complaining about not getting paid to participate in the Olympics. It is a totally voluntary opportunity, and NBA players make much more during the course of their contracts and potential endorsement deals than other Olympians(with the possible exception of Michael Phelps) make during the course of their training, and for many of those Olympian athletes the Olympics are the pinnacle of their athletic careers and endorsement deals don’t come so easily when they are out of the public eye for a 4-year period.

If Dwyane Wade doesn’t think he is making enough money, then he would be more than welcome to give up his Olympic spot to a younger player who would happily accept the honor of trying to bring home a gold medal to his country. To Wade’s credit, he backed off of his comments a short while after making them, and hopefully both Wade and Griffin will be key cogs in bringing home the Gold Medal in London this coming summer.

Topics: Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, Los Angeles Clippers, Michael Phelps

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