Thursday, July 2, 2009

BASKETBALL'S BEST EVER - 1992 "Dream Team" inducted into Olympic Hall of Fame

The greatest basketball team to ever be assembled is again making headlines. The original "Dream Team" of the 1992 Olympics will be inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in August. The "Dream Team" was without a doubt the best U.S. basketball team to ever set foot on foreign soil as they dominated their eight opponents by an average of 44 points. Show me another team in any sport that was that dominant.

With Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and Larry Bird as the headliners, the "Dream Team" as they were called went into the Barcelona games fully loaded. The roster consisted of a team full of all-stars and 10 of the NBA's 50 greatest players. They had the size, speed, shooting and defense to humiliate their opponents. Coached by the late Hall of Famer Chuck Daly, the team cruised through the qualifying round and then went on to go undefeated in pool play with a different player leading them in scoring each game.
The quarterfinals brought an over matched Puerto Rican team that the "Dream Team" demolished 115-77. Next came a 51 point win over Spain and the finals was the closest game of all, a 32 point blowout over Croatia. In all, 5 players on the U.S. team scored in double figures and only John Stockton and Christian Laettner averaged under 8 points a game.

The "Dream Team" would defeat any basketball team that world could ever assemble.

Top 5 Reasons Why The 1992 "Dream Team" Is The Best Team Ever:

1. Experience
Two of the the "Dream Team's" best players, Magic and Bird had over 15 years experience in the NBA between them and only 3 players (Laettner, Pippen and Robinson) on that '92 team were under 27 years of age. This was a team that had been around the block and knew how to win. Six of the twelve players had won a championship and all but 2 had been to the NBA finals (Laettner and Mullin). This was an experienced team of winners.

2. Basketball IQ
The "Dream Team" was also one of the smartest teams. They knew how the game was to be played. Some of the smartest and craftiest NBA players played on that team. John Stockton was not the tallest or strongest but he found a way to get it done. Magic and Bird epitomized craftiness even though they were not the greatest leapers. Charles Barkley used his 6'6 body better than anyone and was one of the greatest rebounders and scorers. These guys knew how to use space and had amazing basketball IQ's

3. Jordan in his prime
Not only were they crafty but they also had the greatest basketball player ever to play the game leading them. Jordan was in his prime at only 29 years of age and just had come off 6 seasons of scoring over 30 points a game. By this time in his career, Jordan was just about unstoppable. His 3 point shot was just starting to improve and nobody could contain him off the dribble. The Bulls were in the middle of their 3-peat as NBA champs all due to Jordan's talents. I would put Jordan in his prime up against any other basketball player on the face of the earth...and I may even give you odds.

4. Defense
The "Dream Team" could also "D" you up. With the 1991-92 defensive player of the year David Robinson roaming the middle and 1987-88 defensive player of the year Michael Jordan picking pockets on the outside, the "Dream Team" could shut down opponents without much effort. The most points they gave up in the Olympics of '92 was 85. You also have other great defensive players to count on in Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing and John Stockton (all have finished in the top 7 of the NBA defensive player of the year award).

5. Coaching
The 92' team with Chuck Daly, Lenny Wilkens and Mike Krzyzewski had plenty of experience between them. Between the three they had over over 2800 wins and 6 titles. These guys were great choices for this team because you had a current NBA coach, a coaching legend and one of the greatest all-time college coaches. With the leadership of these guys no one would beat the 1992 Dream Team.

1992 Dream Team Roster

Here are the "Dream Team's Top 10 Plays

*NOTE: I will be going on VACATION for the next week and so the RETRO SPORTS TALK BLOG will be on hiatus until I get back. Have a great 4th of July and stay safe.

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