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When you look back at the original Dream Team of 1992, don't brush it aside like it was no big deal. Yes, they won every game by 50 points and sure there was never a real threat to the USA winning the Gold. But it was one of the biggest moments in the history of sports for a plethora of reasons.

First and foremost, the three greatest players in NBA history were playing on the same team-Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird in that order. Kobe Bryant and LeBron James may have something to say about that real soon, and you could argue Kobe has surpassed Magic and Bird already. But for that moment and pretty much the last twenty years since, they were the three signature stars in NBA History and maybe they always will be. The others- Charles Barkley who was the second best player in the world in 1992 behind only Jordan and probably is the most underrated player of all-time. Patrick Ewing, a top 10 all-time center, the captain of the New York Knicks and one of the greatest post players ever. David Robinson-the first player over 7 feet tall that had the athleticism of a small forward, still the best fast break center in NBA history. Karl Malone and John Stockton-the best pick and roll duo basketball has ever seen. Clyde the Glide Drexler, the second best shooting guard on the planet in 1992, second only to Jordan. Chris Mullen, the best pure shooter in the game at that time and still one of the best ever, his skills translated perfectly to the European style game in Olympic play. Scottie Pippen-the most versatile defensive player ever, he could shut down point guards, shooting guards and small forwards, the master of the huge steal or block in pivotal moments. And Christian Laettner-his pro career was below average but at that moment in time, he just finished up a career at Duke as the best collegiate player ever, and nobody has surpassed what he did since then.

Basketball is an American sport, the teams that USA were throwing together before the Dream Team were college kids that practiced for a few weeks together. They were playing against teams from other countries that had grown men who practiced together year round. When these other countries best the US college kids in Olympic play, they celebrated like they just saved the world from aliens. Those who argue now in hindsight we should have never sent these guys are as wrong as you can be about any topic. The rest of the world deserved to play against our best, these countries were using their best players. This experience made them better and basketball became even a bigger deal in so many countries because of the mass appeal and superstardom of the Dream Team. Hockey is for cold weather places, people in Europe don't care about baseball or football. Soccer hasn't caught on in the US like so many would like it to. Basketball is the one truly global team sport, don't underestimate the importance of the Dream Team as a factor. Sadly, our country is the one place that doesn't appreciate the significance of the Dream Team.

The Dream Team special on NBA TV this Wednesday night at 9pm should be must watch TV for any real sports fan, even ones that aren't crazy about basketball. Jack McCallum who covered every practice, game and press conference the team had will be letting us in on a ton of new info and stories when his book comes out on the subject this summer. There's not too many absolutes in sports arguments, but there is one. The 1992 Dream Team, led by the greatest player ever in any sport, Michael Jordan in his absolute prime, is, was and always will be the greatest basketball team ever assembled.

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