In european football (yeah i know you guys call it soccer, just no clue as to why ) salaries are not that far apart from NBA or MLB rates, yet the pro's do not play in the olympics, they do play for their country though, in the European and World championships, but for the Olympics they are prohibited and the world organization has rules that only the udner 21 or 23's are allowed to play there.
When they play for their country in the WC or EC or comparable tourney, they are insured by the national league.
As for Basketball, most EU countries (like the Netherlands) can not afford to pay the insurance rates for those players that are playing in the NBA. Thats is however a reason for some of those countries to be unable to raise the interest in Bball, as an example, Rik hardly ever played for the NL beause of that single reason, the other Dutch players currently in the NBA are not playing for the same reason (I never understood why the league did not sell this to an insurance company as a great sponsorship gimmick, but who am I )
The league leaving these cost to the franchise places team USA in an even further advantageous position, certainly because some EU players have contracts that simply forbid them to play anywhere but for the franchise, of course they would never be able to "sell" this to a team USA so.......
I personally like the NBA players playing for their country, but only if the best of ALL countries play which would mean that certain schedules are some adapted to the summer tournaments.
And yeah, the franchise should hold the same sword of insurance over all, if that is not possible, then simple forbid ALL NBA players to play for their country, though I believe that is going back to the dark ages.
I Agassie can partake in the tennis tournament on the Olympics, Speedskaters make a fortune, NHL players are allowed to play, athletes (T & F ) make a fortune throuhg the year and are high paid pro's who compete so we long since dropped the participating for the participation only idea, let's get the best out there, but let the Olympic movement pay the insurance, for ALL. after all they make more then enough money.