Olympic Men’s Basketball Gold= Team USA, this is one of the undisputed equations, isn’t it? And the United States well and truly deserves the first position every year. Year after year, the States, bring in a squad that is supremely above par in talent, ability, consistency, and in every aspect of the game that ever exists. From Jordan to Bryant, from big Shaq to swift Lebron the USA without doubt are the team to beat every year. But it wasn’t until 1992 that the American’s dominated the game. So, what happened prior to the games in Barca?
1988 witnessed the USA losing to the Soviet Union in the semifinals. But there was a loophole… The USA till the 1992 Olympics were only playing amateurs as the FIBA did not allow the National Basketball Association (NBA) professionals to take part in the Olympics. So, the USA would every year recruit a bunch of 19–20-year-old to collegiate students for the Olympic squad. But after the 1988 heartbreak, the rule was changed. And then came the time for the dream team. The FIBA had allowed professionals to take part and starting from Magic Johnson to Larry Bird every individual had dropped in their name for selection.
An all-star squad from the top teams of the NBA was formed. And boy-oh-boy the squad chosen was absolute carnage. A team with the best players in the world in their designated positions. It was a roster that would absolutely shatter every opposition. It was the dream team.
The squad was as follows: –
Charles Barkley (6 5’ Power Forward)
Larry Bird (6 7’ Power Forward)
Clyde Drexler (6 6’ Shooting Guard)
Patrick Ewing (7 Center)
Magic Johnson (6 7’ Point Guard)
Michael Jordan (6 6’ Shooting Guard)
Christian Laettner (6 11’ Center)
Karl Malone (6 9’ Power Forward)
Chris Mullin (6 6’ Shooting Guard)
Scottie Pippen (6 8’ Small Forward)
David Robinson (7 1’ Center)
John Stockton (6 1’ Point Guard)
The team was the highlight of the tournament. Never before had the games witnessed such a mismatch in terms of ability, intent, charisma, and performance in all. The “Dream Team” stayed at a private hotel away from the Olympic village in order to avail the best-off court facilities. From attitude to accommodations, they had the best. Slam dunk after Slam dunk after Slam dunk every point was an eye-candy. The opposition teams looked as if a bunch of schoolboys. The position was such that the opponent teams’ players on the bench were clicking pictures of their idols on the pitch rather than warming up for the game. After the game, every team wanted to pose alongside these “Dudes” for a picture.
The scoreline that sheds light on the sheer ascendancy was as follows: –
To conclude, I would say that the Americans without a doubt have a great scouting and selection process in place which allows them to dominate the Basketball circuit year after year. The tournament ended with Larry Bird on the top of the charts of the scorers. It was only the beginning of American dominance on the wooden floor. With Lebron, Durant, and Grant in contention, the sun of the Americans seems to be shining bright.