I'm not going to lie, I'm a sucker for the Olympics. I love watching sports that I only pay attention to once every four years. Team Handball. Rowing. Equestrian. It doesn't matter what's on, because I'll be tuned in.
But, let's not beat around the bush... basketball is my favorite sport. And when the original Dream Team formed in 1992, I was spellbound.
Jordan. Barkley. Magic. Bird. Robinson. Ewing. Pippen. Drexler. Malone. Stockton. Mullin. Laettner.
Wikipedia states that "The ‘Dream Team' is regarded by many as the greatest basketball team ever assembled." Many? MANY? I want to find the people that don't think this was the greatest team ever.
I can get into a lot about this team, but as much as anything, the dominance of this team led to a world-wide surge in basketball passion. The foreign born players who come over to play in the United States now, either in college or the pros can all attribute their experiences to this team, whether they know it or not.
Basketball and basketball players were big before the Dream Team, but when those 12 breezed through the Olympics, it showed the world how good basketball can be, and how pretty the sports is to watch.
Personally, I was the perfect age. As a 15 year old, I didn't have many responsibilities outside of a paper route, which was concluded by 6am each morning. This gave me the opportunity to obsess over the Dream Team and watch wide-eyed as Magic found a streaking Jordan on a no-look pass leading to an MJ dunk. Or maybe it was Barkley posting up on international players that had no idea what they were up against. It was pure joy.
And without sounding too much like a xenophobe, seeing the players draped in Red, White and Blue made everything that much sweeter.
This year's Olympic team is another collection of star-studded pros, ranging from LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul to Big 12 alumni Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin. It will again be fun to watch, especially with the way the rest of the world has improved to make these games far more competitive than what we witnessed in 1992, but there will always be a special place for the original Dream Team. A team which before they formed was only a fantasy in a young boys' mind.
Celebrate the most compelling moments in Summer Games history with 'Memorable Moments' on Yahoo! Sports. Re-live moments such as Nadia Comaneci's perfect 10s in Montreal, Michael Phelps' record eight gold medals in Beijing, Carl Lewis' unforgettable four gold medals in Los Angeles, the spectacular success of the 1992 US Dream Team, Muhammad Ali in Rome and Atlanta, and any more!
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