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The Greatest Team Of All Time, The Dream Team

The “Dream Team” is not only the greatest basketball team ever assembled, but also the greatest team assembled in the history of sports. In honor of July 4, lets celebrate the very first American Olympic Basketball Team to feature active NBA players, The Dream Team.

12 Players

The Dream Team consisted of 12 players: Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen of the Chicago Bulls, John Stockton and Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz, Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers, Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics, Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks, Chris Mullin of the Golden State Warriors, David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs, Charles Barkley of the Philadelphia 76ers, Clyde Drexler of the Portland Trailblazers and the sole college player on the team, Christian Laettner of Duke University. Chuck Daly was the head coach of the legendary squad, while Lenny Wilkens, P.J. Carlesimo and Mike Kryzewski served as assistants.

the dream team

The First

The Dream Team was the very first American Olympic Basketball Team to feature active NBA players. Not only did it just feature professional NBA players, but it also featured some of the greatest basketball players to ever live. Eleven of the twelve players on the roster are currently in the NBA’s Hall of Fame. The iconic team was able to defeat its opponents by an amazing average of over 40 points a contest.


The Dream Team not only won games by large margins, but they defeated their opponents in a thrilling and often show-stopping way. The games were not really competitions as much as they were showcases for the team’s endless array of talents. Their challengers never really felt they had a legitimate chance to beat them, most of the time the opposing team was so in awe of the squad that opposition was merely an afterthought. The awe they inspired in the countries led to the globalization of pro basketball.

dream team olympics


That ‘92 club is credited with producing much of the international interest in the game. There were very few international players in the NBA before that 1992 team. Kids outside the United States got to see iconic players like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan for the very first time, and they became inspired in the same way American youths have been. Many of the great foreign-born players in the NBA, post-Dream Team, credit that group with spawning their passion for the game.

One Of A Kind

Other Olympic teams led by NBA players have followed and have not been able to reach the same cultural or competitive heights. Pro basketball players vying in the Olympics may have hit an all time low with the 2004 Team. They were mockingly labeled the “The Nightmare Team,” because they were the first group of NBA players to not win the gold. The 2004 team had to settle for a bronze medal and was at times embarrassed on the court by the other Olympic teams. The post-Dream Team squads have had to operate under the shadow of the original team’s brilliance. International basketball teams are far more competitive now than they were in 1992. While international competition certainly has improved, one could also argue that the post Dream Team era players are not as dominant and skilled as the 1992 cast was.


- Adam C. Better