Slamadamonth, SLAM #82: Michael Jordan
August 8, 1992: MJ dunks on the world.
Let’s get this straight—there was, and will only ever be, one Dream Team. That was back in ’92, when all of the best players in the world were from the U.S., and all were at or near the apex of their careers, and none of them said no. You had a team—one team!—with arguably the best ever at four of the five positions: Bird (hampered by back problems, unfortunately), Magic, Malone and Jordan. Stepping in for Bird was Scottie Pippen, at the peak of his powers. Round that out with Ewing and Robinson at center, and there were no problems whatsoever. This was a collection of the best players in the world who also just happened to form a cohesive team.
It got deeper. Stockton backing up Magic. Barkley, in his take-no-prisoners prime, coming in for Malone. Mullin and his deadeye J spelling Pip. Drexler backing Jordan. And Christian Laettner, because someone had to carry the bags.
The games? Incidental. Because the Dream Teamers knew this could be the only time the citizens of the world would get a look at them, they were on their A-games—Magic and Stock running the break, Pip playing the passing lanes and leading the team in dimes, Barkley stuffing baskets and foes, Ewing and D-Rob keeping the lanes free and clear. And Mike? Well, Mike just wanted to be sure everyone got a good look at his new shoes.