Photo: NBA TV
It’s a well-known fact that getting Michael Jordan on the original Dream Team was USA Basketball’s number one priority when putting together the 1992 Olympic squad.So getting the biggest sports star on the planet to trade his usual golf rounds for more basketball wasn’t going to be easy.
Jordan basically had to be coddled, which meant giving him final say on who would join him in Barcelona, according to Jack McCallum’s just released “Dream Team” book (emphasis ours).
[USA Basketball committee member Rod] Thorn won’t say—but he made it clear that no one would be on the team if Jordan didn’t want him on the team.
Magic Johnson echoed that sentiment.
“Michael was all about who was going to be on the team. It was more important…no, make that just as important, for Michael to have a good time as it was to play games.”
Notice how the always media savvy Magic stopped himself short of what he really wanted to say, “It was more important for Michael to have a good time.”
We’ve always known how adamant Jordan was about only joining the Dream Team if his arch nemesis, Detroit Pistons point guard Isiah Thomas, wasn’t on it.
Little did we know Jordan could’ve gone as far as handing the committee a hand-picked group of twelve guys and they would’ve been ecstatic about it as long as it included him.
Jack McCallum’s “Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever” came out Tuesday, July 10, so we’ll be combing through it for interesting tidbits throughout the week.
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