Name-wise, there shouldn’t be any common denominator between USA Basketball teams, at least according to Michael Jordan. The fact that there is one is frustrating for the Bulls legend — especially since he was a part of the group which was initially marketed as the Dream Team.
In one of the editions of The Dream Team Tapes, J.A. Adande remembered the exact moment MJ shared his frustrations about there being multiple Dream Teams.
He said, ‘There’s only one Dream Team! The rest are duplicates,’ and he gave me that glare, the Michael Jordan glare, his eyes were raising. After that, I didn’t even say ‘Dream Team’ anymore because I was afraid that Michael Jordan would hunt me down.J.A. Adande, Diversion Podcasts
Despite Shaquille O’Neal describing them as the “second best Dream Team” and Derrick Coleman going along with his statement, the general consensus appears to side with the ’92 group as the best Dream Team ever. Here are some facts to back that up:
- 11 Hall of Famers on the roster (all but Christian Laettner)
- 10 named among the NBA’s 50 greatest
- 8 of the top 50 scorers of all time
- 15 NBA MVP awards were shared among
- 23 NBA championships
- 11 NBA Finals MVPs
- 117 NBA All-Star Game appearances
However, Michael’s frustrations aren’t based on numbers, nor the accolades of the individuals on that team. His argument for the ’92 group being exclusively dubbed as the Dream Team lies in the fact they initiated the global basketball revolution, and every other team fed off of that.
Talent, dominance, and impact wise, they are in a tier of their own, and something like that has to be immortalized. Being involved in a name-sharing game does the exact opposite — it diminishes their significance for the globalization of basketball, NBA in particular.
If it weren’t for the original Dream Team, who knows how its sequels would’ve looked like. Or the NBA as we know it, for that matter. That’s why I’m with MJ on this one.
There’s only one Dream Team. The rest are duplicates.