There are plenty of stories we don't know about the 1992 Dream Team, arguably the greatest basketball team ever assembled. That team featured big names like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen and more. Just like we don't know some stories, others were documented and we can see now. During the photoshoot prior to the 1992 Summer Olympics, Magic Johnson was teasing Michael Jordan, delivering one of the finest lines against His Airness.
At the time, Michael had earned a reputation of being protected by the referees and Magic took advantage of that. The 5x NBA champion warned Larry Bird not to get too close to Michael or he was going to get a call.
"You can’t get too close to Michael or it’s a foul," Magic said while Bird and Jordan started laughing.
These exchanges were something common within that team. One story that we recently learned involved these three guys, too, when Magic was debating with Jordan who was the best individual player of the two. MJ ended the debate with a few words, threatening both Bird and Johnson (S/O Ahmad Rashad).
So we are sitting in a room in a hotel in Barcelona: Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson. And there is a conversation going on about who had the best team. Now Larry Bird makes Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley stop talking totally, because they never won a championship. So the conversation is between, Boston, the Lakers and Chicago.
Then the conversation moves forward onto who’s the best individual player. Now Michael and Magic got into it, they were talking back and forth to each other, and it was really funny. I was sitting up there with Larry Bird and we were just watching. Then finally, Michael gets very upset and says, ‘Listen, all I’m telling you — I’m telling you Larry, I’m telling you Magic — if you don’t quit, every time I see you next year I am busting your ass. When I come to your arena, I’m busting your ass. I’m warning you right now, you better quit.’
After time went by, Larry Bird just looks over at Magic and he says, ‘Magic, you and I were then, and Michael Jordan is now.’ And that’s how that went.
They were three good friends but when it came to basketball and competing against each other, things could get out of control very easily. That team walked the 1992 Olympics, winning all their games, showing why NBA players were the best in the world and it wasn't even close.