1992 Olympics Basketball Dream Team: Greatest Team Of All Time?
A Meat Inspector from Yugoslavia made it possible for the Dream Team's assembly and their participation in the 1992 US Olympics. Did you know that? I didn't. A Meat Inspector? Prior to 1992, the United States only inducted collegiate players on the Olympic Team. But Boris Stankovic thought it lessened the integrity of the game if the Best of the Best from all over the world didn't represent their country in the Olympic Games---so, the induction of professional basketball players was had.
This book introduces you to the Original Kings of the sport (I say that, but those who know me know i bow down to no man): Michael, Magic, Larry---but also gives you insights into the life before, during, and after the Olympic games of the rest of the "supporting cast."
Scottie Pippen's chapter made me cry like a baby because of his difficult childhood; Charles Barkley's chapter constantly made me laugh out loud---"I don't know anything' 'bout Angola, but Angola's gonna be in trouble"; Larry Bird's humility inspired me; John Stockton's silent leadership made me admire him; reading about Chris Mullin's battle with alcoholism made me root for his sobriety that much more; I felt no pity for the bratty Christian Laettner being the only college kid in a roster full of basketball gods; I fell in love with David Robinson; I rooted for Clyde "The Glide"; I underestimated Karl Malone's abilities to keep up with Patrick Ewing; Magic was Magic---spokesperson and co-captain of the Team (along with Larry. Michael liked playing golf too much, so he didn't want Captain responsibilities); Chuck Daly makes "managing personalities" look easy; and Michael is still my GOAT---there is no argument that you have that will make me change my mind, so there is no point. I will listen to you, nod my head respectfully, pretend like I'm listening, and still keep my opinion (Sorry, Ross. Why I don't argue with you has nothing to do with me agreeing to what you're saying about how Michael isn't your GOAT).
The book also tells you how and why these talents were assembled, and how Michael wouldn't play if Isiah Thomas was on the team. Nobody liked Isiah anyway. When I was a little girl, he was my least favorite player. Those Detroit Pistons really got on my nerves.
So, was this the Greatest Team of All Time? I think so. I answer that with part-nostalgia---I was 10 years old, mesmerized in front of the TV in awe of how big, tall, men could ballet their way to the hoop the way they did---and how that era and that team brought our family together in the same place, at the same time to root for the U.S. of A---as immigrants, we all felt just a little more American.