The NBA Dream Team has been associated with all Olympics basketball teams for the United States since 1992, although the more proper coined term for the Olympic basketball team in 2008 was the Redeem Team.
The Redeem team brought back the glory of gold that the 2004 American team fell short of.
But comparing all the other Olympic teams to the original 1992 Dream Team is ridiculous. Even last year’s Redeem Team with the likes of Lebron, Kobe, and Dwight Howard would have struggled to keep up with this team.
In 1992, the United States may has assembled the greatest team ever, and I’m talking about all sports not just basketball.
The ’92 Dream Team was so dominant, that the team’s average margin of victory over eight games of world competition was 44 points.
The ’92 Dream Team was also the first American team to play professional athletes instead of amateur college athletes, and the professional athletes did not waste the opportunity.
Unlike recent years where several athletes are known to decline an invitation, the ’92 team took the invite with great honor because for many it was something they missed out on in college.
While foreign competition has greatly improved from 1992, the margin of defeat was spectacular. In that Olympic competition, the Dream Team made a statement that basketball was America’s sport and they could dominant anybody they felt like.
There was also an interesting inner competition with the Dream Team. Some of the greatest NBA players ever played on that team and they all wanted it to be THEIR team.
The original NBA dream team had an aura nobody could match. Head basketball coach of that team, Chuck Daly, compared it to traveling with Elvis and the Beatles.
Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird all suited up for that team. We are talking about three of the greatest players ever not only because of their talent and work ethic, but also their insane desire to compete (usually against each other). Although it was The Round Mound of Rebound, Sir Charles Barkley himself, who had a great tournament and sort of stole the show.
Joining the Fab Four, were big men David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, and Karl Malone, as well as swingmen Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin, and Clyde Drexler. Point guard John Stockton ran the show to perfection.
Rounding out the cast was definitely the black sheep of the crew. He’s the only player that will never be hailed a great NBA player. Christian Laettner at the time was coming off a stellar campaign at Duke and won the nomination.
The original ’92 Dream Team will forever go down at the best NBA Olympic team of all time. Professionals will continue to play, but none will remain as dominant or lopsided as the NBA Dream Team of ’92.
’92 Olympics Path to Gold Summary
The Dream team cruised through the qualifying round with a 6-0 record. In the opening round, Barkley scored 24 points as the Americans routed Angola and then followed with the same result against Croatia.
Germany with NBA All-Star Detlef Schrempf posed the next problem for team USA only it never became a problem behind a dominating effort. The U.S. closed out pool play with another blow out against Spain.
Victories over Puerto Rico and Lithuania (with two NBA players on roster) led to a gold medal contest versus Croatia. The team was more talented then people might believe, including five current or future NBA players led by Bull Toni Kukoc.
Amazingly, the final victory over Croatia was the largest win at a 32 point margin but maybe even more astonishing is head coach Chuck Daly never used a timeout throughout the entire Olympic competition.