Dream Team: Documentary Review

Sporting News

Casey Ryder, Staff Writer |

If you’re into basketball you’ve probably heard of the “Dream Team”. That is the United States men’s basketball team at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, which featured the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and many other notable players.

The dream team is considered by some to be the greatest team ever assembled in sports history. That may sound like a hot take at first but when you take into consideration the fact that 11 of the 12 players on the roster became Hall of Famers, and the fact that at the Olympics the team won its games by an average margin of 44 points, the accolade becomes less controversial.

The Dream Team was able to be assembled thanks to a rule change in the Olympics which allowed basketball players from any league to compete in the games.

Prior to 1992, it was against Olympic rules for NBA players to compete in the games. As a result, the United States men’s basketball team brought to the Olympics every year would typically consist entirely of college players while other countries brought their professional players who played in leagues outside of the United States. This created an unfair advantage for those countries who were able to bring their best players while the U.S. brought a team of amateurs.

20 years after the team took gold in Barcelona the documentary “Dream Team” was released and gives an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the team and features stories as well as insight from the players and coaches themselves.

Unfortunately, one man who wasn’t able to be in the film was head coach Chuck Daly who passed away in 2009. Daly at the time was the head coach of a Detroit Pistons team who were infamously given the nickname “Bad Boys” and his appointment was the subject of controversy as people were unsure if he could coach Michael Jordan given the intense rivalry that existed between the Pistons and Jordan’s Chicago Bulls. But as Charles Barkley put it, “He coached the bad boys. And if you can coach those as*****s then you can coach anybody.”

And sure enough he could. Not only did the team flourish under Daly, but he and Jordan developed tremendous chemistry with one another. The pair ended up bonding over a common passion, golf. Both Jordan and Daly loved to golf and so in order to accommodate his star player, Daly would plan the team’s practice schedule around their golf time.

The biggest thing that the documentary highlight is how this team of superstars developed such strong chemistry in a short period of time. In the early stages of the film, there was a degree of bitterness in the team given the rivalries they had with one another in the NBA. But as the film progressed, the team only became closer and more tight-knit. They’d stay up until five in the morning playing cards as a team and unlikely friendships came about such as the one between Larry Bird and Patrick Ewing.

If you’re a basketball fan or even just a sports fan and haven’t seen this film, you must. It gives a tremendous account of one of the greatest sports teams ever assembled and I promise you will not be disappointed!    

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