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"Who’s going to beat us? The Japanese? The Chinese?” — Michael Jordan knew nobody could come close to stopping the Dream Team

The fact the Dream Team was down only once in the entire tournament validates MJ's confidence.
USA dream team: Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and Chris Mullin

Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, and Chris Mullin

Led by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, the 1992 USA Dream Team was arguably the greatest basketball team ever assembled. The world witnessed prime Jordan at his peak, dominating the Summer Olympics. Besides Jordan, 10 of the 12 players on the Dream Team were on the NBA’s All-time 50 Greatest Players list as the best players from the 80s and 90s (well, aside from Isiah Thomas, who didn’t mke the team), stroke fear and were a nightmare to all their opponents in that summer.

Jordan already knew

The fascinating thing about the greatest basketball player of all time is that when he knows his team is unbeatable, it truly is unbeatable. Before the 1992 Barcelona Olympics even took place, MJ already knew that nobody would stop the Dream Team. In fact, Jordan was on record saying that the Dream Team taught the world the game of basketball and that nobody had the physical gifts to match up with his team.

When you look at the talent and the teams we’re supposed to play against, it’s a massacre,” Jordan claimed in his interview with Playboy magazine in 1992. “It should never be close. We taught them the game of basketball. We’ve got people who have the ability and the height. We’re talking about the greatest players that play the game now and the team is the best team that’s ever been put together.

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True to his words, Jordan and the Dream Team won by an average of 43.8 points against their opponents in the 1992 Olympics. Croatia was the only country that came close to “challenging” the US, which the Americans eventually dominated by 32 points. The pinnacle of Croats' achievement was taking the lead in the first quarter of the Finals, 24-23 after a Franjo Arapovic dunk. It was the only time anyone had the lead on the Dream Team the entire tournament.

There will never be another Dream Team.

As outstanding as the 2008 Redeem Team (led by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James) were, nothing will ever be close to the Dream Team. This isn’t a knock on the Redeem Team per se (they were just as impressive), but a team with Jordan, Johnson, Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, and several more Hall-of-Famers proved to have no flaw at all.

The Dream Team depicted what a perfect basketball team is, and it also gave us basketball fans the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch all these legends share the same team and play together. Just like what Jordan said, it was a massacre that will be remembered forever. 

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