NBA TV aired its “Dream Team” special this week as a tribute to the 20 years, since professional NBA basketball players entered the fold of Olympic play and how special that moment was for the players and for the growth of basketball as an international sport.
“A lot of these things, we all kind of heard these stories,” Cocoros said. ” ‘Hey, I heard they lost to the select team. Did they really have these intense practices?’ To show it takes it to the next level. A lot of this has been discussed for 20 years but never seen.”
I, for one, am intrigued to see footage of what has been reported to be some of the most beautiful basketball ever played and it wasn’t even in an official game. The battles between Michael and Magic are supposed to be some of the most competitive basketball ever played, and these were just the tune-up scrimmages that led to the Olympics.
“He didn’t want to relinquish his hold from the ‘80s even though it was the ‘90s,” said Jordan.
“He’s a young puppy. I’m the big dog,” said Magic. Jordan let Magic be a team captain, but interestingly enough it was Charles Barkley who led the team in scoring. Barkley also had high, albeit foul-mouthed, praise for team USA head coach Chuck Daly.
“He coached the Bad Boys,” Barkley said. “If he can coach those (bleeps), he can coach anybody.”
It was a magical moment for the veterans who wouldn’t suit up many more times.
“If this was the end, this was the way I wanted to go out,” said Magic.
It was also a moment for the U.S. born superstars to stand on the podium as champions together, instead of battling it out separately on their respective NBA teams.
“Nothing in my life ever felt like standing on that podium,” said Barkley.
It must be even more surreal to look back at that moment after 20 years.