With this year’s basketball season on the verge of beginning, it is only fitting to talk about one of the most legendary teams ever built in sports history. Of course, there have been many teams that could carry that mantle. It doesn’t matter which sport is looked at, there will always be one forerunning team that will lead the way for future players. There is only one team that will never be forgotten, and is still remembered to this day as the best team in their profession.
There have been many players who have graced the NBA with their skills and talent on and off the court. Legends were created, records were broken and dreams were made. When it comes to teams though, there is only one that will forever remain an icon, a measuring stick for which greatness is still measured by. In 1992, the United States sent in their A-Team of NBA icons to totally stomp every opponent that opposed them. This team quickly became known as the Dream Team simply because the players that formed the roster were some of the finest in their league, and in the world, in a golden generation of basketball.
Who could forget Charles Barkley's words when the United States was set to take on Angola in the opening game? When asked about his team's first opponent, Barkley simplu replied: "they in trouble." Indeed they were, as the States smashed Angola 116-48. Often considered as the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet, this United States team would go on to not only dominate every team in its path, but would beat them by an average of 44 points a game. Going on to win the Gold medal against Croatia, the United States would watch as the Dream Team would ultimately become national heroes and these men would go down in infamy, but where are they now?
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12 Christian Laettner - Fishing, Business Ventures
Although he never lived the NBA life of fame like his teammates, Laettner was an important addition to the dream team. Being only 22 when added to the roster, what Laettner lacked in NBA experience he made up for with his two NCAA championships. Laettner was drafted third overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves and played a total of 13 years in the NBA.
After numerous business ventures with former college teammate Brian Davis, Laettner now lives in Florida with his wife and children where he enjoys fishing. He has also helped run many youth training camps and served briefly as an assistant coach in the NBA Development League.
11 David Robinson - Philanthropist, Founded Carver Academy
Arguably one of the best centres in the sport, David Robinson proved his worth to the ’92 Dream Team. Since his time playing pro basketball, Robinson has contributed to many community projects. Robinson started his own non-profit school in San Antonio called the Carver Academy. Over the years, Robinson has donated over $11 million to the academy, and in 2011, Robison was awarded the Children’s Champion Award from the Children’s Hunger Fund. Robinson has proven that he is not only a force on the court, but also a driving force in his community.
10 Patrick Ewing - Assistant Coach, Charlotte Hornets
When basketball is discussed, there are certain names that tend to pop up frequently. Patrick Ewing is one of those names. In the early 90s, Ewing was unstoppable and was hitting his prime. Ewing would dominate the scoreboard and would also inspire many young basketball players in future years. After retiring, Ewing became the assistant coach with the Houston Rockets, followed by the Orlando Magic. During his time as an assistant coach, Ewing instructed such greats as Yao Ming and Dwight Howard. And who can forget the timeless portrayal of himself in the 1996 movie, Space Jam? In 2008, Patrick Ewing was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Ewing is currently an assistant with the Charlotte Hornets.
9 Charles Barkley - TNT Announcer
Charles Barkley was emerging as one of the greatest basketball players of all time in 1992. Scoring an average of 18 points per game, he helped lead the Dream Team to victory. Since his retirement in 2000, Barkley joined TNT’s NBA team and continues to work as one of the most well known analysts in the sport. It wasn’t all rosy for Barkley though, as he struggled with a long-time addiction to gambling losing approximately $10 million through heavy betting.
8 Larry Bird - Team President, Indiana Pacers
Larry Bird was on his way out of the NBA when the ’92 Olympics rolled around. Becoming a legend while playing with the Boston Celtics, Bird ended his career with a bang. After retirement, Bird became an assistant to the Boston Celtics before becoming head coach of the Pacers in 1997. In 2003, Bird joined Indiana’s front office and is currently serving as the franchise’s President of Basketball Operations. Bird was listed 30th on ESPN’s Top 50 Athletes of the 20th Century.
7 Scottie Pippen - Senior Adviser, Chicago Bulls
Although he didn’t get much playtime, Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen was still able to do his part for the 1992 USA Men’s Basketball Team. The fact that Pippen didn't get that much playing time just shows how deep this roster was. After his NBA career, he played ball overseas and returned home to become the ambassador for the Chicago Bulls. He has done analysis for ESPN and ABC, now serving as the senior adviser to Chicago Bulls President Michael Reinsdorf.
6 Clyde Drexler - Houston Rockets Color Commentator
Clyde Drexler was one of the final additions to the roster, managing a respectable 10 points per game. Although he had a great career, he is not often talked about as much as his other Dream Team colleagues. After his retirement, he became the coach for the University of Houston, however it went very poorly. Since then, he has been relatively quiet, claiming a spot on the hit show Dancing with the Stars. He currently serves as a color commentator for the Rockets home games.
5 Karl Malone - Assistant Coach, Restaurant Owner
Being the second highest scorer in NBA history secured Karl Malone a spot on the ’92 Dream Team. Standing in at 6-foot-9, he dominated his opponents during the Olympics. Since retiring, Malone’s number has been retired and he sat on the National Rifle Associations’ board. Malone is an avid fisher and also owns an Arby’s and a Teriyaki Grill in Louisiana. Malone returned as an assistant to the Utah Jazz in 2013.
4 John Stockton - Youth Coach, Author
The ’92 Olympics came around in the prime of John Stockton’s 19-year Hall of Fame career with the Utah Jazz. He is known to have the NBA’s all-time record for assists and steals and currently lives in Washington with his wife and kids. One of his sons has followed in his footsteps and made his NBA debut with the Sacramento Kings in 2014. Stockton started coaching Youth teams in 2003, and was called back by the Jazz as a trainer. In 2013, Stockton released his book with foreword written by teammate Karl Malone.
3 Chris Mullin - Head Coach, St. John's University
Chris Mullin’s role on the Dream Team was simple: drain some 3-point shots when the defense had done their job. Chris Mullin would retire and become a Hall of Famer. He would move on to become the Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations with the Golden State Warriors. Today, Mullin is known as an analyst for ESPN and in March 2015, Mullin accepted the position of Head Coach for St. John’s University.
2 Magic Johnson - Entrepreneur
Much like Bird, Johnson already had a legendary career in the NBA before the ’92 Olympics. His life would change dramatically though as pre-Olympics he was found as HIV positive. This would change Johnson’s life and he is now one of the best-known public speakers about the subject. He has a stake in the $2 billion purchase of the L.A. Dodgers and is one of the richest post-basketball NBA players ever.
1 Michael Jordan - Owner, Charlotte Hornets
When one thinks about basketball players, there is one man that stands out amongst the others. Perhaps it was his calibre of play, perhaps it was his story, perhaps it was Space Jam. Michael Jordan was taking over the league in 1992. Coming off of his seconds championship, it was no surprise that Jordan would be part of the Dream Team. After a short lived baseball career, a return to the NBA, a movie co-starring Bugs Bunny and a shoe brand that still makes him millions, Michael Jordan became a household name for the sport. These days, Michael holds a stake in the Charlotte Hornets and continues to roll in the cash from his Air Jordan shoe brand.
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