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16 great anecdotes about the Dream Team and its megastar Players

It had Jordan, Barkley, Bird and Magic. So how did they all get along in Barcelona 20 years ago?

AS THE US Olympic basketball team prepares to win its second consecutive gold medal in the coming weeks, the team that started it all is getting some extra time in the spotlight.

In the eyes of many, “The Dream Team” remains to this day the greatest group of stars ever assembled on the same team, in any sport. It featured 11 future Hall of Famers and one of the greatest college basketball stars of all time.

And although that magical group of 12 is still revered worldwide, much of what went on behind the scenes in the build up to and during the 1992 games had remained mostly unknown. Until now.

We just finished reading Jack McCallum’s excellent Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever.

It's filled with amazing stories, some we had never heard before, others we simply didn't know all the details of.

16 great anecdotes about the Dream Team and its megastar Players
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  • Jordan was a great ping pong player, but Christian Laettner beat him often

  • There would've never been The Dream Team were it not for a Yugoslavian meat inspector

  • Michael Jordan had incredible amounts of power. He even had a say in who made the team

  • Sharp-shooting guard Chris Mullin had no idea Charles Barkley even played basketball the first time they met

  • Michael Jordan once injured Patrick Ewing by putting him in a headlock

  • The most glaring Dream Team exclusion was Isiah Thomas, primarily because Jordan didn't want him there

  • Patrick Ewing grew up in Massachusetts a big fan of Bill Russell's Boston Celtics teams but hated Larry Bird, until meeting him later in life

  • The idea that Magic's 'Showtime' Lakers were always loads of fun and Larry Bird's Celtics were boring is false

  • Clyde Drexler still holds some resentment toward Magic regarding his Dream Team and 1992 NBA All-Star Game inclusion

  • Scottie Pippen had the unlikeliest journey to The Dream Team out of everyone

  • The key to Dream Team head coach Chuck Daly's success can be summed up in this one Coach K anecdote

  • No one put The Dream Team's dominance and star power into greater perspective than Charles Barkley

  • If you think things were always super rosy with this group, think again. There were enough prima-donnas on this team to spell eventual doom

  • David Robinson was the clear outsider on this team

  • To this day, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski tears up when remembering the respect Michael Jordan showed toward him when he was an assistant on The Dream Team

  • The most popular t-shirt at the 1992 games was not anything featuring The Dream Team

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