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Opinion

Remembering The 1992 Dream Team

Thirty years ago, the United States Men’s Basketball team (a.k.a. the Dream Team) became the first American Olympic basketball team to consist of players from the NBA.  Chuck Daly was chosen to be the head coach, and the assistant coaches were P.J. Carlesimo, Mike Krzyzewski, and Lenny Wilkens.  The team itself was comprised of Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton.

With all the talent on the Dream Team, it was highly likely they would win the gold medal in Barcelona.  But first, there was the Tournament of the Americas in Portland (from which four teams would qualify for the Olympics).  The Dream Team was dominant, defeating Cuba in the first game 136-57.  One highlight of that game was when Michael Jordan kept the ball from going out of bounds and passed it to Larry Bird, who then successfully shot a three-pointer.  The other highlight was Clyde Drexler (who played for the Portland Trail Blazers at the time) making a three-pointer at the final buzzer.  The Americans then defeated Canada 105-61, Panama 112-52, Argentina 128-87, Puerto Rico 119-81, and Venezuela 127-80 in the gold medal game (thus qualifying for the Olympics).

The Americans went on to dominate the Olympics, defeating Angola 116-48, Croatia 103-70, Germany 111-68, and Brazil 127-83, thus qualifying for the Olympic Tournament.  At that point, the other teams had allegedly decided that their goal would be not to win the gold medal, but instead to make it to the gold medal game, and hence settle for the silver medal.

The Dream Team defeated Puerto Rico 115-77 in the quarterfinals and Lithuania 127-76 in the semifinals.  In the gold medal game, they would face Croatia again.  This time, the Croats put in more effort, even briefly having a 25-23 lead over the Americans in the first half (which was the only time the Dream Team would be trailing any of their opponents that year).  But the Americans would go on to beat Croatia 117-85, thus winning the gold medal.

The Dream Team seemed to be enjoying themselves that summer, especially Charles Barkley, whose comments on the domination of their opponents included a remark prior to the game with Angola when he said “they’re in trouble.”

My father also enjoyed America’s domination of their opponents, even to the point when he learned that the gold medal game was the same day as a friend’s wedding, he was disappointed.  Fortunately, the game was televised prior to the wedding, so he was able to watch it.

Needless to say, the Dream Team of 1992 was the greatest Olympic Team ever assembled.

 

Andrew Linn

Andrew Linn is a member of the Owensboro Tea Party and a former Field Representative for the Media Research Center. An ex-Democrat, he became a Republican one week after the 2008 Presidential Election. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Louisville, where he became a member of the Phi Alpha Theta historical honors society. He has also contributed to examiner.com and Right Impulse Media.