I tend to agree, though it’s never going to happen. But at least there should be some distinguishing feature to the olympic version of the sports. At least basketball plays under international rules, so there’s a bit of uniqueness to it. I think the golf should be some kind of weird format - make it 2-player teams, with one round alternate shot, one round scramble, etc. As it is it’s just a normal tournament, and there’s a bunch of more prestigious ones exactly like it.
See, I wouldn’t say “get rid of those associated with a pro league.” I’d say deep six those that don’t pass the Hallmark test-- that is, eliminate sports that don’t care enough to send their very best. Both men’s and women’s basketball seem to do that reasonably well–at least I believe that lots of NBA and WNBA players take part.
Sponsorship money and advertising wasn’t the only issue; so was fundamental unfairness.
Only allowing “amateurs” presents serious problems because it was often used in the past to eliminate anyone who was not wealthy enough to pursue the sport full-time without other sources of income, or was unable to obtain sponsorship by someone with deep pockets (and the sponsors often discriminated against minorities and the like).
It also did nothing to prevent “shamateurs,” a term used to describe full-time de facto professional state-sponsored athletes, especially in Eastern Bloc countries.
While this was, AFAIK, technically true, the Soviet bloc flouted it in the 1960s and 1970s, and they had “full-time amateur athletes” – athletes who were employed by the state, technically at a non-athletic job, which had few (or no) actual duties. This is what led to things like the Miracle on Ice, in which the US team was college students, and the Soviet team was men in the 20s and 30s, who were amateurs in name only.
I like the Olympics because it’s one chance every four years to see sports get almost no coverage the rest of the time. For people who like to watch golf, tennis, and basketball it’s not like they’re starved for options. Basketball especially, it already takes over the whole month of March.
It’s not quite the same thing. The Triple Crown is just to see which horse is fastest; equestrian events in the Olympics are dressage, jumping, and cross-country.