25 facts to celebrate the Dream Team 25 years later
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The legendary Dream Team will forever go down as the most dominant basketball team ever.
The Dream Team opened up pool play for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics this week. Team USA’s opening game resulted in a lopsided 68-point victory in favor of the Americans over Angola. That was only the start to the Dream Team’s dominant Olympic performance. The Americans went 8-0 at the Olympics that year, capturing a gold medal.
In honor of the 25-year anniversary of the Olympic team, here are 25 facts about the Dream Team:
1. The Dream Team has been called “the most dominant squad ever assembled in any sport.” Magic Johnson was once quoted, saying: “I look to my right, there’s Michael Jordan … I look to my left, there’s Charles Barkley or Larry Bird … I didn’t know who to throw the ball to.”
2. The U.S. men’s basketball team didn’t stay in the Olympic village with the other athletes in 1992. The team stayed in a luxury hotel in Barcelona.
3. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson were selected as the team’s co-captains.
4. While 10 of the 12 Dream Team members were announced live on an NBC special, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner were announced a few days later. Drexler went on to be the team’s fifth highest scorer, averaging 10.5 points per game.
5. The Dream Team set U.S. Olympic records for made field goals (369), field goal percentage (57.8 percent), assists (29.9), steals (22.1) and blocked shots (5.9).
6. Charles Barkley led the team, averaging 18 points per game. Michael Jordan averaged 14.9 points per game.
7. Michael Jordan set two U.S. Olympic game records, including most assists (12) and steals (8) in a game.
8. The Dream Team was beat by a college team during a pre-Olympic scrimmage.
9. Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone led the team with 42 total rebounds. While Scottie Pippen was the team’s leader in assists with a total of 47.
10. Charles Barkley set a then USA Olympic game scoring record with 30 points (12-14) in the American’s 127-83 win over the Brazilians.
11. Christian Laettner was the youngest member of the Dream Team. He was 22 years old during the 1992 Olympics and just completed his collegiate career at Duke. The closest in age with Laettner was Scottie Pippen and David Robinson, who were both 26 years old at the time.
12. Larry Bird was the oldest player on the team by five years. He was 35 at the time and officially retired from the NBA on Aug. 18, 1992.
13. The Dream Team is the only basketball team to reach more than 100 points in every Olympic contest.
14. The Americans averaged 117.3 points per game, which is the highest scoring average ever for any Olympic basketball team.
15. The Dream Team beat all their opponents on average by 43.8 points.
16. The Americans led their opponents for 306 minutes and 54 seconds out of a possible 320 minutes of play.
17. Team USA’s largest lead in the 1992 Olympics was 68 points against Angola.
18. On the other hand, the Dream Team’s largest deficit was four points in pool play. Spain jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead at the start of the game, but then the Americans came back and demolished the Spaniards, 122-81.
19. Karl “The Mailman” Malone who scored the Dream Team’s first point in Olympic action, sinking the second of two-free throw tries against Angola just 11 seconds into the game.
20. Malone delivered again. He was the last Dream Team member to hit a field goal. He sank a jumper with 41.1 seconds remaining against Croatia in the Olympic Gold game.
21. U.S. head coach Chuck Daly never called a timeout during the entire Olympics. What would’ve been the point?
22. The Dream Team globalized basketball. In 1992, the NBA had 23 international players. At the start of last season, the league had 113 international players.
23. The Dream Team was forever enshrined in both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 2009.
24. All but one player and one coach have been elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as individuals.
25. The upcoming Olympic Channel, which is launching Saturday on a number of cable systems and streaming services, will air all eight original broadcasts of the Dream Team’s games. The marathon broadcast will begin Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.
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