It’s just a fact the the 1992 Team USA Olympic Basketball Team is the greatest collection of players ever formed on the same team.
The team consisting of players such as Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, and of course the G.O.A.T. Michael Jordan, breezed their way through the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, coming away with a Gold medal for Team USA with an 8-0 record.
Some of you may remember a few of the games the Dream Team played during the Olympic tourney, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a basketball fan who knows about a seemingly pointless game between the Dream Team and a bunch of college stars back in 1992 that Team USA actually lost.
The scrimmage was held in San Diego in June of 1992, posing as a tune-up before the Olympians headed over to Spain. The game was 20 minutes long, and the reported margin was eight points, although head coach Chuck Daly ordered that the score be removed from the board before media were allowed in.
“I was on the college team that beat the Dream Team, and so we practiced with them in La Jolla,” declared Duke player Grant Hill, the future NBA great, to ‘Boomer and Carton’ in 2015.
Hill continued. “Me (Duke), Chris Webber (Michigan), Penny Hardaway (Memphis), Allan Houston (Tennessee), Bobby Hurley (Duke), Eric Montross (North Carolina), Jamal Mashburn (Kentucky), Rodney Rogers (Wake Forest). The first day we practiced against them, we beat them by 20.”
“Houston hit 10 threes in the scrimmage. They couldn’t do anything with Webber. I’m telling you, Webber was killing these guys. We all had our moments. Bobby Hurley though, they couldn’t keep him out of the paint.”
“Our purpose is to help them get ready to win the gold medal and to improve our own game,” Webber said. “But we’re not going to back down.
“I’m not even nervous out here playing with these guys. I’m out here talking trash just like I always do. They’re doing the same thing. They talk a lot more trash.”
“We got killed today,” he said. “They beat us and they played well. We’re so out of sync and so unsure about things that we feel comfortable with in normal situations. We don’t have any continuity at all.
“If they were in the Olympics, they’d win the silver medal.”
Scottie Pippen, Jordan’s long-time teammate, agreed with MJ.
“These young kids were killing us,” Pippen said in a later documentary, NBA TV’s The Dream Team, per the New York Times. “We didn’t know how to play with each other.”
Assistant coach Mike Krzyzewski however, claimed that the game was fixed, and head coach Chuck Daly played beneath his potential to humble the All-Star team.
“He threw the game, we’re all right.”
“If you look at how much Jordan played and how he subbed the guys in, not picking up, not making any adjustments; he knew what he was doing.”
Hill, who was coached by Krzyzewski at Duke, doesn’t believe that story.
“Coach K said they threw it,” Hill said. “I love coach K, but I’m not buying it.”
High off their win from the previous day, another scrimmage was set up, and as you’d expect, the result was completely different.
“The next day, we couldn’t get the ball over half-court.” Hill said.
According to Charles Barkley, the Dream Team decimated the college players by over 100 points.
“We pretty much beat them by 100.”
You can watch a snippet from The Dream Team documentary below: