In the world of basketball hypotheticals, Dream Team vs. Redeem Team is one of those burning questions fans love to discuss. Now, who better to ask about it than Mike Krzyzewski – the guy who’s been with both groups for their gold Olympic runs. So, in a potential best of seven series, there’s no doubt on Coach K’s mind about who he would side with.
That ’92 group is often referred to as ‘the greatest team ever assembled,’ and fairly so. The roster of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Christian Laettner, Chris Mullin, David Robinson, and John Stockton included 11 Hall of Famers (all except Laettner) and 10 named among the NBA’s 50 greatest (all except Mullin and Laettner).
Eight of the top 50 scorers of all time played on the Dream Team. 15 NBA MVP awards were shared among its members, along with 23 NBA championships,11 NBA Finals MVPs, and 117 NBA All-Star Game appearances.
Their run in Barcelona was equally impressive, and here are some facts to prove it. The Dream Team shot 57.8% from the field over the course of their undefeated 8-0 run, as they held their opponents to 36.5% shooting from the floor. Their 32-point finals victory over Croatia was The Dream Team’s closest game of the Olympics, as they finished the tournament with an average margin of victory of 43.8. They averaged 117.3 points per game, only allowing 73.5 points per game, with their largest victory being the one against Angola (116-48).
For most people, they are the greatest collection of talent we’ve ever seen. Accolades prove it, their performance at the tournament proves it, numbers prove it. But for Coach K, that’s not the only thing that puts them above everyone else. It’s their impact on the game of basketball and how they represented their country, being the first NBA group to play for the national team.
Those guys were rock stars, and yet, they were such gentlemen. They represented us so well. We didn’t have a culture for USA basketball, and those guys brought their culture to the USA basketball. And it stayed after that.Mike Krzyzewski, The Old Man and The Three
The ’92 Dream Team planted the seeds, and every other group fed off that. Thus they remain the standard against every other U.S. basketball team is measured – ’08 Redeem Team included. That’s why, both in a potential matchup category, as well as ranking them on the all-time lists, the ’92 Dream Team is still at the top.