The Dallas Mavericks announced on Saturday that star power forward Dirk Nowitzki would be out for at least four games because of poor conditioning and knee soreness.
It was pretty obvious that a grumpy Mark Cuban would not be far behind with his own take on the situation. After all, Nowitzki is set to make $19.1 million this season and represents one of the owner's biggest investments.
In an interview with ESPN.com, Cuban attacked a surprising target — international competitions, including the Olympics.
"It's just the epitome of stupidity that we would allow ourselves to be used so other corporations can make tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars," Cuban said. "There's some guys sitting at the Olympic headquarters going, 'Those dumb-a–es, we're taking all their best guys for nothing.'"
Cuban's strong language is easy to understand considering Nowitzki's scheduled four-game layoff could go longer if the 2011 NBA Finals MVP does not improve.
On top of that, Rodrigue Beaubois, the Mavericks' 2009 first-round draft choice, suffered a broken left foot in France during preparation for the 2010 World Championships. Beaubois ultimately required two surgeries, missed nearly all of last season, and is just now in the final stages of recovery.
Cuban has raised the issue before, claiming other owners agree with him, but ultimately nothing has come of it.
The 2012 Summer Olympics in London are quickly approaching. With a shortened — and thus intensified — regular season in the NBA, and an extra tournament to play this summer, it will be interesting to see how the extra stress impacts some of the biggest stars in the league.
When the 2012-13 season starts, it may quickly become clear that Cuban was right all along.