How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the greatest team of all time conquered the world and changed the game of basketball forever.
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 importantly - 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 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 20 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 recreates 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.
"Great [listening] for NBA fans. High-demand backstory." (Booklist)
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Reliving the Dream!
Entertaining, enlightening and nostalgic
My favorite character is Michael Jordan. I've been a fan for years. Dream Team gives a great insight into Jordan's dynamics with the other team members. I loved the rivalry between Jordan and Drexler.
Dick Hill does a great job of sharing his enthusiasm for the team and the story. His emotion makes you feel like you were an invited attendee to the "secret scrimmage".
The Dream Team created a great sense of nostalgia for me. Having grown up loving and playing basketball during the golden age of the NBA, I felt a connection to the players immediately. I often found myself saying out loud, "I remember that!", or "Oh, I totally forgot about that". The story itself kept me captivated. Because the narrator easily conveys his enthusiasm for the team, I made an instant connection with him as well. A favorite moment in the story is when Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan set out to humiliate Toni Kukoc, a member of the Croatian team and newly signed and highly paid Bull. Their stifling defense shuts down the Croatian star and is a clinic on great defensive play. It also illustrates a great life lesson, don't steal money from a man's pocket, even if it is only potential money.
The Dream Team does a superb job of setting the goal to help the reader/listener identify with each player. Even the often less interesting David Robinson has a great section of the story that left me routing for him both on the court and in life. I finished the book feeling like I had a better understanding of each players motivations and a renewed appreciation for Chuck Daly's leadership. This begs the point that the Dream Team transcends being just an entertaining history of the best team ever assembled by being a great book on leading a group of superstars and high achievers in any field.
- Book it!
Great insight into the great basketball team ever.
- James O'Brien