The 1992 Olympic Dream Team was just that: the greatest team ever assembled. The roster was made up of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin, and Christian Laettner. All the members of the Dream Team (except Christian Laettner) will be or already are in the Hall of Fame as individual. Tonight they will be honored by being inducted into the Hall of Fame as a team.
The timing of the team was important as well. It came after the 1988 US Olympic Basketball team was the first not to win the gold in basketball. The Dream Team needed to prove to the world that US was where the greatest basketball players were, and the NBA was still the most competitive league for the best players in the world.
The team had the greatest player of all time—Michael Jordan. They had the greatest point guard of all time—Magic Johnson. They had two of the top 5 power forwards of all time—Karl Malone and Charles Barkley, and they had two of the best centers—Patrick Ewing and David Robinson. The Dream Team thoroughly dominated every game they played winning all five of its group games by an average of 46 points. They scored 110+ points in every game aside from the gold medal game in which they had 103. They were able to beat a good Croatian team led by Tony Kukoc and Drazen Petrovic in the gold medal game by 32, which was the closest any opponent got. They stepped onto the court and dominated every game and finished in Barcelona a perfect 8-0. The Dream Team never looked back.
The beauty of it was that the way they integrated all their stardom and personalities to create a flawless display of teamwork. Even though they had MJ and Bird, two of the most prolific scorers in NBA history, it was Charles Barkley who led the team in scoring. Coach Chuck Daily never had to call a timeout. The team gelled together even though they were accustomed to competing against one another. There was never conflict, only greatness.
The 2008 “Redeem Team” would not have been able to beat the 1992 Dream Team (although basketball fans can only dream of the matchup). As great as the 2008 team was, they were not able to dominate the way the Dream Team did. The Dream Team set the bar at point that arguably no other team will ever reach. The Dream Team has the Redeem Team dominated at every position, and if you ask any of the Dream Team members, they will agree.
They were simply the best. They were perfection.