Dream Team 1992 Revisited: Relive USA’s Basketball Olympic triumph at Barcelona ‘92 

Featuring NBA legends like Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, the USA Basketball ‘Dream Team 92’ became known as the greatest sports team ever assembled. Watch every game they played en route to gold in this new Olympic Channel Series.

By Andrew Binner

The world stood still as the USA basketball team was announced for the Barcelona 1992 Olympics.

For the first time in Olympic history, the United States team would feature active NBA stars Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Charles Barkley.

They became known as the ‘Dream Team’, and the '92 edition defeated their opponents by an average of 44 points en route to the gold medal.

In the new Olympic Channel series Dream Team 1992 Revisited, we take a look back at every game the team played, featuring new commentary from Rob Perez and Tom Kirkland.

Schedule, and where to watch

Dream Team 1992 Revisited will begin Thursday 16 April at 11 pm UTC (7 pm Eastern Daylight Time in USA), and can be accessed for free and without subscription using this link on Olympic Channel.

Check out the broadcast schedule here.

16 April: USA vs Angola

23 April: USA vs Croatia

30 April: USA vs Germany

7 May: USA vs Brazil

14 May: USA vs Spain

21 May: USA vs Puerto Rico (Quarter-final)

28 May: USA vs Lithuania (Semi-final)

4 June: USA vs Croatia (Final)

Dream Team background

Until the 1992 Olympic Games, International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules had prevented teams from selecting professional players.

But some teams were flouting the rules using loopholes, so the governing body decided to change their decision and allow all professional players to take part.

This allowed the USA to select what became known as the greatest sports team ever assembled. To put the team’s talent in context, future FIBA Hall of Famer and double Olympic gold medallist Shaquille O’Neal did not make the team at this time.

The team featured only one non-NBA player, Christian Laettner, who was selected in a nod to the American collegiate system from which players had previously been picked. He beat O'Neal for the one amateur spot on the team by virtue of his strong college performances, although O'Neal had been the first pick in the 1992 NBA Draft.

Joining him were Jordan, Johnson, and Barkley, as well as David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Draxler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, and the oldest player on the team 35-year-old legend Larry Bird.

The team held its pre-tournament camp in Monaco, before moving to a luxury hotel in Barcelona.

They opted not to stay in the Olympic Village for security reasons, and their hotel was guarded by armed men, such was their superstar status.

Even opposing players and athletes from other countries and sports wanted photos with the NBA hotshots and asked for their autographs.

Aside from winning all their games by an astounding margin – the smallest being 32 points in the gold medal game over Croatia – the Dream Team was also the first side to score 100 points in every game in an Olympics, averaging 117.3 points.

Unsurprisingly, the team was inundated with fans, leading USA Head Coach Chuck Daly to comment: "It was like Elvis and the Beatles put together."


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