We say our choice is a slam dunk, but you may make a different call
At his peak, Bradley hit nothing but net, on the court and off
Many Olympians have run for public office. But one stands tallest, figuratively at least, among those who have won medals and elections.
Nobody hit it bigger in sports and politics than Bill Bradley, a Democratic U.S. senator from New Jersey for 18 years and an unsuccessful candidate for president in 2000.
Bradley was an an All-America basketball player at Princeton and an Olympic gold medalist as part of the U.S. team at the 1964 Tokyo Games.
Across an epochal life, he also was a Rhodes scholar, a member of two NBA championship teams with the New York Knicks and the author of seven books.
His first book might have been his finest. He wrote with style and bite about a stretch of an NBA season in “Life on the Run." He focused on the rhythms of the game and even touched on racism against black teammate Earl Monroe, a star on the court but not accepted so well off it.
Bradley's most recent book, published this year, is called "We Can All Do Better."
With the Olympic Games beginning this month, returning to London for the third time, here is the rest of our list of medalists who became prominent politicians.
Metcalfe, right, and Jesse Owens were friends and rivals. Their victories in Berlin still resonate.
Ralph Metcalfe -- He won gold and silver medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, where Adolf Hitler was a disappointed spectator.
Metcalfe ran on the winning 4 x 100 relay team. He finised second in the 100-meter sprint to his legendary teammate, Jesse Owens.
Metcalfe also won two medals -- silver and bronze -- at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles.
In politics, Democrat Metcalfe was a Chicago city councilman and then a congressman from Illinois. He died in office in 1978 while in his fourth term in the House of Representatives.
Bob Mathias -- He was just 17 when he won the Olympic decathlon in the 1948 Olympics in London. Mathias repeated as the gold medalist four years later in Helsinki.
California voters elected Republican Mathias to Congress in 1966. He served until being defeated in 1974.
Jim Ryun -- Baby boomers still remember his 1,500-meter race in the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.
Ryun entered as the big name, but he could not keep pace with a then-unknown runner -- Kip Keino of Kenya. Keino won the gold medal and Ryun the silver.
Ryun, a Republican, served as a congressman from Kansas from 1996 until being defeated in 2006.
Tom McMillen -- He made the cover of Sports Illustrated as a high school basketball player in Pennsylvania. McMillen went on to play at the University of Maryland and then in the NBA for 11 years.
But he may be remembered most for a game he lost. McMillen was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic basketball team that fell to the Soviet Union in the last three seconds.
So controversial was the finish that the U.S. players declined to accept their silver medals.
McMillen served as a Democratic congressman from Maryland for three terms starting in 1987. He lost in a re-election bid in 1992.
Many believe that McMillen, who stands 6 feet 11, holds another distinction. He may be the tallest congressman in history.