30 Years Later: How the Dream Team Changed the NBA for International Players

Men’s team America of In 1992which is easily known dream team, who went to Barcelona Olympic Games with high expectations. It was arguably the greatest collection of talent in the history of the sport, as the team featured several Hall of Famers. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

It didn’t take long for a collection of American stars to prove that expectations weren’t enough. The dream team crushed all the opponents that stood in their wayHe won the gold medal on August 8, 1992, defeating Croatia 8-0 in the Olympic final.

“You can see the professional team again at the Olympics.” USA team coach Chuck Daly said. “But I don’t think you’ll ever see a team like this. This was a magnificent team.”

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But influence The Dream Team surpassed their dominance on the court. It introduced the absolute highest caliber of international players in the sport.

Juan Antonio Samranch, the president of the International Olympic Committee, said at the time “The most important thing in the games is the amazing success of the basketball tournament, because we see the best in the world.”

30 years after the Dream Team members put gold medals around their necks, their impact is still felt.

More | The best game Michael Jordan ever played was a Dream Team training session in Monte Carlo.

The rise of international players after the dream team

At the beginning of the season 1991-1992 There were 23 international players from 18 countries in NBA teams. By the start of the 2011-2012 season, that number had grown to 74, from 35 different countries.

Ten years later on the opening night 2021-2022 campaign, there were 109 international names from 39 different positions. Only Raptors they had 10 Between 1991 and 1992, nearly half of the NBA’s total number of non-Native American players on the roster.

However, the global explosion was not the only thing. Many of these athletes, born outside the United States, have achieved incredible levels of success in their careers.

More | Dream Team, Special Team: Comparing the Success of Its Members to Other American Teams

Hakeem Olajuwon In the 1993-1994 campaign, he made history by becoming the first non-American to win the NBA MVP. He was the first to win regular season MVP, Defensive Player of the Year and Finals MVP in the same season. Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic Following in Olajuwon’s footsteps, he has won a total of seven top-rated awards in his career (so far).

Of course, the story of the international player cannot be told without mentioning another Rockets insider. Houston was chosen Yao Ming In 2002 draft number 1, which made him the first international without going in the NCAA.

In addition to being an eight-time All-Star and five-time All-NBA, Yao is one of the most important figures in sports history for his impact on the globalization of the NBA. His presence allowed the Rockets to become the most popular team in China. The opening of Yao’s doors in the Asian market allowed the league to build a multi-million dollar relationship.

In terms of recent achievements, An international player has won the last four MVP awards (Antetokounmpo and Jokic twice) and four of the last five Defensive Player of the Year awards (Antetokounmpo and Rudy Gobert three times). On the other hand, three of the five members of the 2021-2022 All-NBA first team were not born in the United States (Antetokunpo, Jokic and Luka Doncic).

The effect of dream group on words

Pau-Gasol-David-Stern-Draft-Read-2001

NBAGetty Images/The Sporting News

David Stern, Former NBA Commissioner:I think the main thing is that the basketball world invited the NBA to come together and we said yes. And they, like us, have found basketball as a big advantage in general. Now we’ve seen Dirk Nowitzki, Ricky Rubio, Tony Parker, Yao Ming, Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Serge Ibaka and Luol Deng.

Tony Parker, six-time All-Star and four-time NBA champion:He had a great influence in Europe. If you look at the interviews I’ve done or Dirk or Pau Gasol, we’ve all been affected by the dream team. That’s when I was like, ‘Wow, this is great. I want to go to the NBA. It might be possible.’ That was the first time I saw them in real life because it was only possible on video because they were now in Europe and everyone was there. It was very good. It was a great experience. It definitely started for me after the Olympics.

Pau Gasol, six-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion: ” of [Dream Team] In the year He inspired and shaped international basketball at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992. I was one of the kids inspired by that team. thank you”.

Mike Wilbon, NBA analyst: “They changed the sport as we know it. They showed the world how to play basketball. What can another team say? I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like that again. It’s an insult to compare another team to that. Team.”

Dream team list and results

Player All the stars MVP NBA rings The final MVP
Michael Jordan 14 5 6 6
Karl Malone 14 two 0 0
Magic Johnson 12 3 5 3
Larry Bird 12 3 3 two
Patrick Ewing eleven 0 0 0
Charles Barclay eleven 1 0 0
David Robinson 10 1 two 0
John Stockton 10 0 0 0
Clyde Drexler 10 0 1 0
Scottie Pippen 7 0 6 0
Chris Mullin 5 0 0 0
Christian Laettner 1 0 0 0

This was the scoreline of the dream team in Barcelona 92′.

Winner Result Loser Margin of victory
America 116-48 Angola 68
America 103-70 Croatia 33
America 111-68 Germany 43
America 127-83 Brazil 44
America 122-81 Spain 41
America 115-77 Puerto Rico 38
America 127-76 Lithuania 51
America 117-85 Croatia 32

The best moments of the dream team in the 1992 Olympics

The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the NBA or its organizations.

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