The first US Olympic team to include NBA stars. Basketball at its finest. The entire world responded.
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’ defeating their opponents by an average of 44 points en route to the gold medal.
Of the twelve players on the team, ten were named in 1996 among the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History, the official list of the 50 greatest players of the league's first 50 years. The USA team was so much better than the competition that head coach Chuck Daly did not call a single timeout during the tournament. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen became the first players to win both NBA championship and Olympic gold medal in the same year, having played for the Chicago Bulls.
"I look to my right, there's Michael Jordan ... I look to my left, there's Charles Barkley or Larry Bird ... I didn't know who to throw the ball to!"
The US basketball committee decided to include one player coming from the college system on the team. In the shortlist there were future NBA superstars such as Alonzo Mourning and Shaquille O'Neal. At the end, even if Shaq was the first pick in the 1992 NBA draft, the choosen one was Christian Laettner who won with Duke University the 1991 and 1992 National Championships.