The 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona the original dream team was formed and not only did they dominate but, the impact on the game was a phenomenon on and off the court for generations to come. The team consisting of a cast of future Hall of Famers gave fans across the globe a glimpse of basketball at its finest and with that an entire world responded and took notice.
The team consisted of the NBAs greatest at the time. All time greats: Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, swingmen: Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, and Chris Mullin, the legendary duo from Utah: John Stockton and Karl Malone, towering centers: David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, and rounded out by Duke legend Christian Laettner, future all star and the best college player from 1991-1992. But how could we forget the figurehead of the NBA Michael Jordan who spearheaded this cast of rock stars. Not only did this team dominate blowing out every opponent they faced, the players were also signing autographs and even taking pictures with other players from the teams they faced mid game! This forced countries around the world to compete with what the US had as they were the best in the world. Basketball changed forever on this day as all other countries had to adapt to what the Dream Team could do for the next time the Olympics came around and as the game of basketball has grown internationally you can landmark the 1992 Summer Olympics games as the time where the game of basketball became a global sport.
Looking at the game today, basketball has risen to a place of status in the world of sports that rivals soccer as the most popular game in the world. The Dream team has sparked basketball culture in Europe, China and Africa all while being the inspiration for “golden generations”, in countries like Spain, Argentina and Australia. The team knew they would have a long lasting impact in the game of basketball but who knew it would be of this scale. 27 years later we just had a Canadian team led by an African general manager and an array of international talent winning the 2018-2019 NBA championship with a Greek crowned the league’s MVP and with NBA talent from all areas of the world. The impact of this moment in time was forever.
Written by Hector Nilo