I remember the 1992 Olympics when I was a teenager. By far the Dream Team was the biggest sensation of that Olympiad and I don’t believe I will see anything like that in my lifetime again. Players like Michael Jordon, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Charles Barkley came together as a team and the way they played together is like nothing I had ever seen in basketball.
At the time I was only able to see one or two games given coverage in Australia, however, McCallum’s book goes into all of the details of the changing in ruling allowing professionals in the USA to play, the selection of players, their practice sessions and the games themselves. McCallum, a veteran journalist coupled with his deep relationships in the NBA and FIBA goes into the all of the details telling a story on the greatest Basketball team ever assembled. A great read!
Three key takeaways from the book:
1. I have always believed and still believe that Michael Jordon the best player of basketball of our age. I think McCallum said it best that Jordon’s ultimate achievement is that he is better than his hype. Not easy considering how hyped he was as a player.
2. My impression of Chuck Daly during the Olympics was a man who let his team just do their thing. What I didn’t realise is what he did behind the scenes. For example, the orchestration of the game with the USA College team where the Dream Team lost. He is certainly the consummate coach and the best choice for the Dream Team. And he never called a timeout during the entire Olympics!
3. Never realised that Boris Stankovic from FIBA played such a pertinent role for the USA Basketball team to include professionals in the 1992 Olympics.