Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever

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Ballantine Books, 2012 - Sports & Recreation - 352 pages
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They were the Beatles of basketball, the Mercury Seven in sneakers.

In Dream Team, acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum delivers the untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team that captivated the world, kindled the hoop dreams of countless children around the planet, and remade the NBA into a global sensation.

As a senior staff writer for Sports Illustrated, McCallum enjoyed a courtside seat for the most exciting basketball spectacle on earth, covering the Dream Team from its inception to the gold medal ceremony in Barcelona. For the duration of the Olympics, he lived with, golfed with, and—most important—drank with some of the greatest players of the NBA's Golden Age: Magic Johnson, the ebullient showman who shrugged off his recent diagnosis of HIV to become the team's unquestioned captain and leader; Michael Jordan, the transcendent talent at the height of his powers as a player—and a marketing juggernaut; and Charles Barkley, the outspoken iconoclast whose utterances on and off the court threatened to ignite an international incident. Presiding over the entire traveling circus was the Dream Team's beloved coach, Chuck Daly, whose laissez-faire approach proved instrumental in getting the most out of such disparate personalities and superstars such as Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, and Scottie Pippen.

Drawing on fresh interviews with the players, McCallum provides the definitive account of the Dream Team phenomenon. He offers a behind-the-scenes look at the controversial selection process. He takes us inside the team's Olympic suites for late-night card games and bull sessions where the players debate both the finer points of basketball and their respective places in the NBA pantheon. And he narrates a riveting possession-by-possession account of the legendary July 1992 intrasquad scrimmage that pitted the Dream Teamers against one another in what may have been the greatest pickup game—and the greatest exhibition of trash talk—in history.

In the twenty years since the Dream Team first captivated the world's attention, its mystique has only grown—and so has its influence. The NBA is now flush with international stars, many of them inspired by the exuberant spirit of '92. Dream Team vividly re-creates the moment when a once-in-a-millennium group of athletes came together, outperformed the hype, and changed the future of sports—one perfectly executed fast break at a time.

The Dream Team was . . .

Michael Jordan, Guard, Chicago Bulls
Magic Johnson, Guard, Los Angeles Lakers
Larry Bird, Forward, Boston Celtics
Charles Barkley, Forward, Phoenix Suns
Chris Mullin, Forward, Golden State Warriors
Scottie Pippen, Forward, Chicago Bulls
John Stockton, Guard, Utah Jazz
Karl Malone, Forward, Utah Jazz
David Robinson, Center, San Antonio Spurs
Patrick Ewing, Center, New York Knicks
Christian Laettner, Forward, Duke University
Clyde Drexler, Guard, Portland Trailblazers
 

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Contents

The Inspector of MeatPros in the Olympics? It
5
CHAPTER 3 The Commissioner and the Inspector of Meat
15
The utCaStlsiah Throws It Away
25
The Christian SoldierIhe Admiral Takes
38
The Shadow ManFor the Kid from Nowheresville
55
The IesterSir Charles Wants to Be an Olympian
74
The Chosen neMichael Seems to Have It
90
The lukieWanted College AllAmerican
103
The LegendLarr_v Shoots and Scores and
164
The Kid from SpokaneYoure Not Writing
181
CHAPTER 27 The Writer the jester and the Christian Soldier
192
The Christian S0ldierAnd What Shall a
204
The Greatest Game That Nobody Ever Saw
210
The WriterTheres Helicopters Up There
231
CHAPTER 31 The Kukoc GameThey Were Like Mad Dogs
250
The Chosen Oncl Know My Father
272

The WrilerAnd So It Begins at 11 Cattle Call
121
The Magic ManFor a Man Whos Dying He Sure
128
The Magic ManIts My MindSet Thats Kept
138
The neDay W0ndersThese Were the Best Days
150
The WriterThe Action Begins in Portland
156
The Gold the Flag and the Chosen ne
286
The lmpactWe Were Like Actors in a Play
311
The Legcndl Wouldve Like to Have Touched
326
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About the author (2012)

Jack McCallum is the author of Seven Seconds or Less and a longtime member of the staff of Sports Illustrated. He has edited the weekly SCORECARD section of the magazine, has written scripts for various SI Sportsman of the Year shows, and is currently a contributor to the magazine and SI.com. He has won the Curt Gowdy Award from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and the National Women Sports Foundation Media Award and teaches college journalism. He lives with his wife in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

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