Host City: Barcelona, Spain
Venue(s): Badalona Municipal Palace of Sports, Badalona
Date Started: July 26, 1992
Date Finished: August 8, 1992
Format: Round-robin pools advance teams to classification matches.
For the first time, all basketball professionals were declared eligible to compete at the Olympics, including members of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the United States’ major professional league. This allowed the US to field a team of professional all-stars, which was certainly the greatest basketball team ever assembled, and was dubbed the “Dream Team.” The team gained incredible attention from the media and fans, both in the United States and Spain, as well as throughout the world, and easily won the gold medal. The team members were Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton. Subsequent US teams, made up of NBA players, were labeled Dream Team II and Dream Team III, but the 1992 team was considered by far the most outstanding.
At the Olympics, the level of US dominance was laughable. Many of the players on other teams deemed it an honor to simply play against the Dream Team and many opponents asked for autographs and posed for pictures with the US players. The Dream Team averaged over 117 points per game. Their “closest” two games were against Croatia, which it defeated by 32 and 33 points. The average margin of victory was just under 44 points.