The original Dream Team, the U.S. basketball team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, was a phenomenon on and off the court. It mattered not that it dominated the Olympic competition, beating its eight opponents by an average of 44 points. What was important was that the Dream Team, the first U.S. Olympic team to include NBA stars, gave fans a glimpse of basketball at its finest, and an entire world responded.
Many consider it the greatest team ever assembled and wow what a team it was. Start with three of the game's all-time greats: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Add the irrepressible Charles Barkley for a little spice, as well as seven more NBA All-Stars: centers David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, power forward Karl Malone, swingmen Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin and Clyde Drexler and point guard John Stockton. Complete the roster with Christian Laettner, the best college player of 1991-92 and a future NBA All-Star.
Top 10 Highlights from the original Dream Team of 1992 in Barcelona
This year's team has been dubbed: The Redeem Team...
The U.S. men's basketball team was named June 23 and consists of NBA players in the USA Basketball program. Changes can be made after June 23, but only due to injury. Team USA qualified for the Olympics by winning the 2007 FIBA Americas tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. It defeated defending Olympic champion Argentina in the final.
“We want to show the world that we can play the game the right way and play as a team,” said Jason Kidd, who is 44-0 on the international stage. “I think that’s what the international teams have started to understand to play as a team and win as a team. If we can get to that level, and we showed that last summer, we can be as good as anyone in the world.”
Team USA will try to redeem themselves in this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing after a bronze medal finish in the 2004 Athens Games. The team is headlined by the usual NBA All-Stars, but this year's team is headed by Duke's Coach K with a team first approach. The 2008 Roster includes:
How do you think this years team will do in Beijing or compare to the original Dream Team?
Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, Dwayne Wade and the rest of Team USA discuss expectations in Beijing.(NYPost.com)