Before the team was even assembled, the 1992 TEAM USA OLYMPIC MEN'S BASKETBALL TEAM was officially dubbed The DREAM TEAM, and through their exploits, have endured as one of the greatest teams in all arenas of sport!!!
Officially The GAMES Of The XXV OLYMPIAD, and played in and around host city, BARCELONA, SPAIN, The DREAM TEAM made made the entire world their playground, winning all 14 games with the smallest margin of victory being 32 points over CROATIA.
HOWEVER; this magical game of which Yours Truly CCG speaks was actually a practice scrimmage that occurred just three days before the start of the Olympics, took place in the small country of MONACO, and as detailed in the 2012 book, DREAM TEAM, by Author JACK McCALLUM; was The GREATEST BASKETBALL GAME NOBODY EVER SAW.
JACK McCALLUM writes;
Most of the 12 names (Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner) remain familiar to fans two decades later, their cultural relevance still high.
It's not just that Danger Mouse and Cee Lo Green christened their hip-hop duo Gnarls Barkley, or that other artists have sung about Johnson (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West), Pippen (Jay-Z), Malone (the Transplants) and Jordan (impossible to count). Consider this: The name of Stockton, a buttoned-down point guard, is on a 2011 track by Brooklyn rapper Nero Achida, and the popular video game
NBA 2K12features Jordan, Magic and Bird on the box cover -- not LeBron, Dirk and Derrick.
McCALLUM goes on to chronicle the local excitement surrounding the arrival of the team, how they balanced basketball and leisure time, and the constant crush of citizens and vacations that monitored their every public moment.
He then gives a play-by-play on the beginning of the game.
if the gentleman from Italy -- whose name nobody remembers -- had it all to do over again, I'm sure he would toss the ball to his fellow referee, assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo, and proceed rapidly to the nearest exit of Stade Louis II, the all-purpose arena in the Fontvieille ward of Monaco. For soon he will become the unluckiest person in town, and that includes all those who are surrendering vast quantities of French francs at the tables.
He tosses the ball up between Ewing and Robinson, and Robinson taps it -- on the way up, illegally -- toward his own basket. Robinson's teammate on the Blue Team, Duke's Laettner, the only collegiate Dreamer, races the White Team's Pippen for the ball. Take note, for this is the first and last time in history that this sentence will be written:
Laettner beats Pippen to the ball. Laettner sweeps it behind his back to his Blue teammate Barkley, who catches it, takes a couple of dribbles and knifes between the White Team's Jordan and Bird. Jordan grabs Barkley's wrist, the whistle blows, and Barkley makes the layup.
"Shoot the fouls, shoot the fouls," Chuck Daly yells, sounding like that character in
Goodfellas, Jimmy Two Times. It's morning and almost no one is in the stands, but Daly is trying to install gamelike conditions because even the best of the best need a kick in the ass from time to time. As Jordan calls for a towel -- it is extremely humid in the arena, and almost everyone is sweating off a little alcohol -- Barkley makes the free throw.
Magic Johnson's Blue Team 3, Michael Jordan's White Team 0.
And so the Greatest Game Nobody Ever Saw gets under way.Get the FULL STORY on The GREATEST GAME NOBODY EVER SAW at SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.