Tuck: The Dream Team
What do you remember about the 1992 US Olympic Team? I did some digging on the day where NBA TV will televise a documentary about the greatest team ever assembled.
Do you remember that John Stockton suffered a broken fibula during the Tournament of the Americas to qualify for the Olympics on only played sparingly in 4/8 games in Barcelona?
Did you know Christian Laettner and Michael Jordan were the only players to shoot under 50% in the Olympics? 9/20 and 51/113 to be exact.
Did you remember Laettner was the only collegiate on the team? He led the team in foul shooting, hitting 18/20 for 90%.
Do you recall Charles Barkley led the team in scoring at 18ppg? He shot 71% and made 7/8 from 3-point range.
Did you know Jordan was the only player to start every game (8)?
Did you know Croatia, and Toni Kukoc, was the silver medalist? They were by far the most competitive team against the Dream Team losing by 33 in the second game, and 32 in the Gold Medal game.
You remember Angola, right? The US beat them 116-48. That’s 68 points.
You probably don’t remember the debut of the Dream Team. They beat Cuba senseless 136-57, a 79-point smackdown, the biggest margin of victory the Americans would have. Cuban coach Miguel Calderon Gomez said following the game cleverly, “You can’t cover the sun with your finger.”
Team USA beat it’s opponents in the Tournament of the Americas by an average of 51.5 points, and in the Olympics by 43.75 points.
Did you know the Dream Team was elected to the Hall of Fame? And it’s one of just eight teams to earn that honor.
Did you know that 11/12 players are in the Hall of Fame? Only Laettner isn’t. And that 3/4 coaches are too. Only PJ Carlesimo isn’t.
Did you know Chuck Daly was the coach and his assistants were Mike Krzyzewski, Lenny Wilkens, and Carlesimo?
Isaiah Thomas was the biggest snub, and most believe it was Jordan that kept him off of the team in favor of Clyde Drexler. Do you know who else just missed making the team?
Dominique Wilkens, James Worthy, Kevin McHale, Tom Chambers, and to a lesser extent, Joe Dumars, Kevin Johnson, and Tim Hardaway all missed out on the opportunity as well. Shaquille O’Neal was bypassed as the college player in favor of Laettner.
I am very excited to see the show this evening, and for those of you like me, this refresher course was probably a fun jaunt down memory lane!