Dream Team Wins Gold in Barcelona
On this day 27 years ago, the Dream Team put an exclamation point on its unforgettable existence.
Team USA men secured supremacy at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona with a 117-85 thrashing of Croatia in the gold medal game, a margin the Americans were very familiar with by the end of the tournament.
Affectionately known as the Dream Team, Team USA won its eight games by an average spread of almost 44 points. Croatia came the closest in the gold medal game with the 32-point defeat, with only the Croatians in the group stage and the Puerto Ricans in the knockout round managing to stay within 40 otherwise.
In April 1989, FIBA passed an agreement that permitted Team USA’s professionals to play in the Olympics, opening the floodgates for what would become what is widely considered to be the greatest basketball team ever assembled.
Before, the Americans sent amateur college players to play against the adult professionals from other countries. That changed with FIBA’s 1989 decision, much to Charles Barkley’s excitement.
“I’m kinda disappointed the teams from the United States have lost the last couple of years, and it’s frustrating, especially the way those other teams be running and jumping around like they’ve done something special,” Barkley said. “It kinda really makes me mad.”
The team was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010, and the organization described the Dream Team as “the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet.”
Charles Barkley (age 29)
Larry Bird (35)
Clyde Drexler (30)
Patrick Ewing (29)
Michael Jordan (29)
Christian Laettner (22)
Karl Malone (29)
Chris Mullin (28)
Scottie Pippen (26)
David Robinson (26)
John Stockton (30)
Head Coach – Chuck Daly
Assistant – P.J. Carlesimo
Assistant – Mike Krzyzewski
Assistant – Lenny Wilkens