Team USA made sure to make a point when they put together the legendary 1992 Dream Team featuring 12 of the greatest players to ever set foot on a basketball hardwood.
However, there were some concerns regarding how well that group would mesh together, as the NBA was extremely competitive back in the day and it wasn’t a secret that those guys really wanted to prove that they were better than everybody around them:
“Well, it was a battle of egos. It was awesome, the best thing I’ve ever experienced in my life. You had me and Karl Malone who were the best two power forwards in the world. We were trying to kill each other every day. You had Michael, who hated Clyde Drexler. They were trying to kill each other. You had David Robinson and Patrick Ewing who were trying to prove who was the best center in the world. They were trying to kill each other. Then there was Magic, who was trying to prove that Scottie had just beat him in the finals. He wanted to get revenge!” Charles Barkley recently told ESPN’s Get Up, as quoted by Essentially Sports.
Nevertheless, Barkley thinks that competitiveness what was really brought that team together. They took it on the court to be better every day, and then went out there to dominate their rivals like no other team had done it before:
“It was the most intense thing. It was like that every single day. Guys were all trying to prove their point. It was amazing for two reasons. Number one, because we were all trying to kill each other. It was also amazing because once the game was over we got on the bus and went back to the hotel together. We act like nothing ever happened. That’s how cool it was,” Barkley concluded.
Most of the players that were still on their prime during the Olympic experience took their game up a notch next season. Michael Jordan made it clear that he was the new alpha dog in town and that the NBA was his to lose, but his Team USA teammates made sure to make it difficult for him to keep on dominating. Needless to say, they all failed.