it definitely didn't help bargnani, that's for sure ...
It's a lot more than just the games themselves, it's the mental fatigue, the travel etc The games are a lot more physical than a random pickup game too. And the truth is that older players need the time off to recover their bodies. On the other hand, you have the experience gained in such competitions, a gold medal game carries more pressure than any NBA playoff game etc.
Personally I'd like our players to stay home - but it's never going to happen.