So I won't.
Randy Harvey is reporting from his 13th Olympic Games. He has covered every Summer Olympics since 1976 and every Winter Olympics since 1988. He joined The Sun as the assistant managing editor for sports in April and has previously worked for the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Daily News and Los Angeles Times.
- WBAL-TV's Noel Tucker blogs from Olympics
This was the idea international basketball officials had in mind after the 1988 Summer Olympics when they moved to admit NBA players to the Olympics.
There were several reasons. One is that the Brazilians had beaten the United States in the 1987 Pan American Games and the Soviet Union had beaten the United States in the 1988 Summer Olympics. They were confident that many teams in the world had reached, even exceeded, the level of the U.S. college kids and they were ready for better competition from the United States. They also believed their fans at home would rather see their teams play against the best players in the world instead of players who were less familiar.
When the international basketball federation (FIBA) put the vote to a test, only two countries voted against it: The United States and the Soviet Union.
The Soviets were all too happy to beat up on the U.S. collegians. As for the United States, the officials of its basketball federation were wary of losing control of Olympic basketball to the NBA.
As it turned out, the first Dream Team, which truly was a Dream Team, had no competition. Opponents were more interested in having their pictures taken with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird than in playing against them. But it didn't take long for that to change. By 2000 in Sydney, the United States was vulnerable, almost losing to Lithuania and France.
Now, if all the best players in the NBA, such as Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, Jason Kidd, Kevin Garnett, had agreed to play in Athens, it's doubtful that the United States would have lost. It's similar to 1972, when the U.S. collegians finally lost in a controversial gold-medal game but didn't have Kareem Abdul-Jabbar or Elvin Hayes.
Still, it's clear that the United States can no longer merely send any team to the Olympics, even one with Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson, and expect to win a gold medal. If the rest of the world has not quite caught up, it is catching up fast.
I told you so.
August 15, 2004 8:30 AM ET
Sharing a golden moment from across the globe
Three days before I was to leave for Nagano, Japan, for the Winter Olympics in 1998, my wife and I called a lawyer about adopting a child.
She said she would put us on the list and probably get back to us within six months or so, if we were lucky.
She got back to us in two days. There was an emergency situation, she needed parents for a 4-month-old boy immediately, were we ready to be parents?
We spent the day signing documents and the night preparing a nursery.
I left the next day for Japan. It was too late for the newspaper where I was working at the time to replace me. Credentials aren't easy to get at the last minute.
When I arrived at the Tokyo airport, I called home.
My wife was in bed, with our son.