Dallas (AFP) - Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban blasted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the wake of NBA star Paul George suffering a broken right leg playing for the US national team.
Cuban told ESPN he sees the IOC as reaping all the profits while clubs take all of the risks when it comes to athlete injuries.
"The greatest trick ever played was the IOC convincing the world that the Olympics were about patriotism and national pride instead of money," Cuban told ESPN. "The players and owners should get together and create our own World Cup of Basketball."
Indiana Pacers playmaker George was hurt playing in a practice game of the US team of NBA stars preparing for the upcoming Basketball World Cup in Spain. The Americans are defending champions and hoping for a title repeat to qualify for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where they could seek a third consecutive gold medal.
Various scandals involving the IOC over the years have intensified Cuban's feelings against the organization.
"The (IOC) is playing the NBA," Cuban said. "The IOC is an organization that has been rife with corruption. The IOC (makes) billions of dollars.
"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."
George is feared lost for the entire upcoming NBA season, which would cost the Pacers on and off the court in reduced ticket sales, a risk every NBA team takes when its stars play for national teams.
The NBA's deal with global governing body FIBA allows players to refuse a national team spot only for "reasonable medical concern", a clause the San Antonio Spurs invoked so Argentina's Manu Ginobili does not worsen a stress fracture.