Forget Terrorism and Forget Patriotism and Do What's Fun

Philip Maymin
Basketball News Services 

We're not soldiers here or communists. Living in a free country means doing what you enjoy so long as you don't infringe on other people's ability to enjoy themselves. Tracy McGrady shouldn't skip the Olympics because of worries about terrorist, but neither should he attend out of a feeling of patriotism. He should do what's fun.

Is it fun to make your back ache from the strain of year-round professional-level play? Is it fun to go from being one win away from advancing to the second round of the playoffs last year to being one of the worst teams in the league this year? Is it fun to participate in a competition that you know you are heavily favored in? Should McGrady still suit up for his high school team out of pride in his school?

Whatever! It's the Olympics. Fine, that's fun. But the Olympics have long played second fiddle to professional basketball, especially the NBA. The only reason any team ever beats an American team is because they practice more and get more chemistry. Does anyone doubt that the Orlando Magic squad would have at least as good a chance as any to win the gold in Athens?

There's no challenge there. If you enjoy it, fine. But don't do it on account of patriotism. True patriotism for those living in a free country is living freely. If you don't enjoy fighting for your country, you don't have to. That's why we don't have the draft. If you enjoy it, great, you are welcome to help.

If you're not going to do it, don't do it out of a fear of terrorism. Most likely everything will be fine. Bombings can happen here and there and everywhere. If you don't enjoy it, fine. If you do, that's fine too.

But don't couch your decisions in terms of fear or pride. Do what's best for you. You are #1, so look out for #1.

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Mike Bianchi ofThe Orlando Sentinel writes: Don't go, T-Mac. Stay home. Be safe.Those close to him say Tracy McGrady is wavering about whether to participate in the upcoming Summer Olympics. They say he's worried about security in Greece. They say he doesn't know whether it's worth it.