Living the American Dream

The Dream Team

Picture by Getty Images

NBA players included

In 1989 the international governing body of basketball opened the door to America’s professional NBA players to compete at the Olympics Games for the first time. The USA assembled its best athletes for the 1992 Games in Barcelona and appropriately nicknamed them, ‘The Dream Team.’  

Huge victory margin

Team USA didn’t lose a match on their way to claiming the Olympic gold medal and scored over 100 points in every game they played.  Michael Jordan, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and Larry Bird were just a few of the household names from the NBA playing for their country and in the same team for the first time.

Star-struck opposition

Coached by Chuck Daly, who twice guided the Detroit Pistons to NBA Championship glory, the ‘Dream Team’ played Brazil, Germany, Angola, Spain and Croatia, the team they were to beat 117-85 in the Olympic final.

So overwhelmed and star-struck were America’s basketball opponents they even requested photograph and autograph-signing sessions before playing them. Ten of the twelve USA players at the Barcelona Olympics Games were later named among the 50 greatest players in NBA history.

Charles Barkley claimed the honour of becoming America’s leading scorer in Barcelona, averaging 18.0 points per game.  

The full USA squad

No. 4 Christian Laettner, Duke University (Only player selected without professional experience.)No. 5 David Robinson, San Antonio Spur No. 6 Patrick Ewing, New York KnicksNo. 7 Larry Bird, Boston Celtics No. 8 Scottie Pippen, Chicago BullsNo. 9 Michael Jordan, Chicago BullsNo. 10 Clyde Drexler, Portland Trail BlazersNo. 11 Karl Malone, Utah JazzNo. 12 John Stockton, Utah Jazz No. 13 Chris Mullin, Golden State WarriorsNo. 14 Charles Barkley, Phoenix SunsNo. 15 Earvin “Magic” Johnson Jr, Los Angeles Lakers


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