On this date, in 1992, the original ‘Dream Team‘ beat Croatia 103-70 in a championship game a the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Almost 30 years after that game, many fans and analysts still think the original Dream Team is the most exceptional basketball team ever assembled, and you can’t argue with that logic. With 11 HOF players on the same squad, playing great and unselfish basketball Dream Team stormed through the Olympics, beating their opponents by an average margin of 43 points per game.
It was an essential tournament for US basketball in general because, in the last couple of years, it was evident to everyone the world caught up. After all, the US couldn’t win with only college players, so they devised a different strategy that boosted basketball’s popularity worldwide.
Out of all the players that participated for the Dream Team, the entire experience probably meant the most to none other than Magic Johnson. Johnson was already a basketball legend. Even though he retired on the year before the tournament due to the HIV virus, he decided to participate and, in some way, assert himself as one of the team’s leaders. In an interview before the final game, Magic explained how much the entire experience meant for him and allowed him to do what he loves on the world’s most significant stage.
It’s hard to put it into words what it all means. It’s probably more so meaningful to me than any other guys, especially being out of basketball for a year. I thought this was never going to happen to me again in terms of having an opportunity having an HIV virus. All of that makes it even much more important to me. But I think all the things I’ve accomplished in basketball from all the way from high-school cannot compare if you put them all together to this 2-month run for the gold.Magic Johnson
In six games Magic played on the Olympics, he averaged a little over 8 points per game but led the team in assists averaging 5.5 per game during the entire tournament. More than the actual numbers, it meant the most to Magic he was once again playing basketball with the best NBA players of that time, showcasing he can still be productive and at times the best player on the floor. That probably ignited Magic to play in the 1995/96 season for the Los Angeles Lakers at the age of 36. He played in 32 games that season, and the fans had the opportunity to see flashes of prime Magic when he was among the top 3 players in the NBA.