Reflections on the original Dream Team


NBATV’s documentary on the original Dream Team airs tomorrow night, but if you can’t wait that long, GQ did an outstanding article on the 1992 Olympians. They combined a bunch of quotes from a good portion of the people involved to tell a great story about the best basketball team to ever take the floor.

I was 7 during the 1992 Olympics but I still remember watching these guys play. Even if I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of what was going on, I knew I was witnessing something amazing.

“You’d see the list of names growing, and then it became apparent that this was going to be a special team,” said USA Basketball director of public relations Craig Miller. “I think probably the real turning point was the cover of Sports Illustrated. When you saw who was on that cover, you were like, ‘Wow.’”

The story also includes details of the Dream Team’s only loss, which was to a group of college kids. A team that included Penny Hardaway, Chris Webber and Allan Houston beat up the Olympians pretty bad, which was probably the wake up call they needed. It may have been that first scrimmage that inspired the Dream Team to reach its full potential.

There are also some funny little anecdotes about Team USA’s opponents taking pictures from the bench during the game, and how the Dream Team was mobbed by fans everywhere they went, and how Charles Barkley went club hopping because he loved the attention.

The whole article is a great piece on such an amazing team. It’s definitely worth a read and it shows how important the 1992 Olympics were to basketball and the NBA.

“I think the point was that the world of basketball invited the NBA to join it, and we said yes,” said NBA commissioner David Stern. “And they have profited greatly from it, as have we—as has the overall sport of basketball. Now we see Dirk Nowitzki and Ricky Rubio and Tony Parker and Yao Ming and Manu Ginobili. And Luis Scola and Serge Ibaka and Luol Deng.”