1992 USA Olympics Dream Team: 6 fascinating stories about the greatest basketball team ever
There are very few things regarding which all fans across the world can arrive at a consensus. When it comes to deciding which is the greatest basketball team of all time, there is no divisiveness. The answer is unanimous. The 1992 Dream Team represents the highest ideal of the sport, and there has never been a better team of basketball players assembled since.
These players didn't just represent the USA. They might as well have been the Space Jam team fighting for Planet Earth. Absolutely nobody could have foreseen the astronomical level of popularity these 12 men enjoyed. The Olympics almost became a sideshow in their wake. It wasn't just the fans, athletes from other disciplines were equally star struck by this unprecedented collection of hall of fame athletes.
Here are 6 fascinating and intriguing stories about the greatest basketball team ever assembled:
#1 The Dream Team Phenomenon
The Dream Team took the concept of celebrity to a whole new level. The players were individually superstars in their own right, but coming together as the most dominant team of all time raised their popularity to stratospheric levels. None of them could have predicted the meteoric rise of their reputations. As mentioned in Dream Team by Jack McCallum, Coach Chuck Daly said of the phenomenon. "It was like Elvis and the Beatles put together,"
The Dream Team was relentlessly mobbed everywhere they went.Brazil's phenomenal scorer Oscar Schmidt stated his goal for the tournament thusly, "I want all the American team's autographs if possible."
The Dream Team phenomenon manifested itself in a cornucopia of merchandises manifesting the likeness of the players. From branded cups to calendars to place mats, there was no end to the madness.
NBA security chief Horace Balmer later recalled that the Dream Team "were the most protected guys in Barcelona." at that time. Nobody was allowed to park a vehicle within two blocks of the Ambassador hotel where they stayed. There were such enthusiastic police officers on motorcycles as an escort for the Dream Team that Larry Bird told the officials that they would leave fifteen minutes early to travel safer.
"There's helicopters up there. This (thing) is serious," Balmer recalled.