Keep this in mind: Everything you're about to read here is about money.
The Olympic Games, rife with bribery and favor-for-sale, is about money.
What Dwyane Wade said about Olympic basketball players being paid is about money.
Wade saying, 24 hours or so later, that, nah, he changed his mind, Olympic players should not be paid, is about money.
I'm guessing the latter is true because Wade's bean counters figured out pretty quickly that the blowback from his original comments might cost him endorsement dollars down the road.
Still ..... I wish he hadn't retracted what he said. Because everything he said was true.
When you play in the Olympics, you are giving up the only down time you have in a physically brutal profession. There should be some compensation for that. And, please, don't start with the argument that NBA players are already absurdly compensated, because that's an apples-and-oranges deal. It's like saying Stephen King shouldn't be paid for writing a magazine piece because he already makes sick money off his novels.
And, please, don't throw the patriotism argument out there. Saying you'd like to be paid for your time doesn't mean you don't think it's an honor to represent your country. One has nothing to do with the other.
All it does is acknowledge the fact that everybody in the Olympic movement -- and I mean everybody -- has his hand out in some meaningful way. They're all out to get theirs, all that flag-waving and nationalistic fervor notwithstanding.
So I say this: Pay the man.