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100 Days of Hoops: Day 92

Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley pose with Olympic Rings at the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona.

 

The United States men’s basketball team of 1988 in South Korea featured college basketball players of the United States against professionals around the world.  The Americans finished bronze and weren’t qualified for a gold medal game after losing to the Soviet Union 82-76.  The [filthy] Soviets took home the gold.  In 1992, the United States restored order to the basketball universe by allowing NBA stars to participate in the Olympic Games. The 1992 Dream helped transform basketball into a global phenomenon, resulting in an international rise in talent that is now prevalent throughout the NBA.

Just as Reagan ordered Gorbachev to “tear down that wall” freeing Eastern Europe from its political oppression, the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) tore down the Wall of Restriction that had prevented NBA superstars from competing.  The greatest collection of talent to ever grace the hardwood was assembled. Let’s go through the 1992 Dream Team.

 

dreaaaaaaaaaam

 

Chuck Daly – Coach: Daly had won the NBA championship in 1989 and 1990 but no Pistons were on the Dream Team.

#4 Christian Laettner : Yes, Christian Laettner participated. 1997 All-Star

#5 David Robinson: The True American Hero. An Admiral of the United States Navy. 2x NBA Champion (1999, 2003) and MVP (1995). Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players

#6 Patrick Ewing: 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist. Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.

#7 Larry Bird: 3x NBA Champion (1981, 1984, 1986) 3x MVP (1984-86). 50-40-90 season averages in 1987, 1988. Associated Press Athlete of the Year (1986). Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players

#8 Scottie Pippen: 6x NBA Champion (1991-93, 1996-98). USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (1996). Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players

#9 Michael Jordan: 6x NBA Champion (1991-93, 1996-98) and 6x Finals MVP. 5x MVP (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998). 1988 Defensive Player of the Year. 10x Scoring Champion. 2x USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (1983, 1984). #1 All-time in PPG. Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players

#10 Clyde Drexler: 1995 NBA champion. Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.

#11 Karl Malone: #2 All-time points, 2x MVP (1997, 1999). Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.

#12 John Stockton: All-time leader in assists and steals. Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.

#13 Chris Mullin: Also participated, 5x All-Star

#14 Charles Barkley: 1993 MVP. Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players.

#15 Magic Johnson: 5x Champion (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987-88). 3x Finals MVP (1980, 1982, 1987). NBA Playoffs all-time assist leader. Member of NBA’s 50 Greatest Players

The team was led by arguably the two greatest point guards, shooting guard and small forward of all-time (Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird).

 

jordo birdo johnsonoooo.jpg

Cheesin’

USA: 838

World: 588

This is the aggregate (total sum) score of the 1992 USA basketball team versus its opponents.  Team USA started off by decimating Angola 116-48, stealing the ball thirty times.  They marched their way through the competition to beat the Toni Kukoc-led Croatian National team in the Gold Medal Game, 117-85.  The 32-point difference was the closest any team had come.

 

 

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