The greatest team ever assembled was actually beaten once, by a team that featured two future Sacramento Kings players.
The original Dream Team that participated in the 1992 Olympics is still widely regarded as the greatest basketball team ever assembled. It was a collection of some of the best basketball players that had ever walked the Earth, with most of them at the peak of their powers. But there was one unofficial blemish on the Dream Team’s resume, and it came at the hand of a squad that featured two future Sacramento Kings players.
A month before the Olympics were set to begin in Barcelona, the Dream Team was in need of a worthy opponent that they could scrimmage against to prepare themselves for their international foes. USA Basketball assembled a team of the best college players from that year with their sole intention of giving the Dream Team a bit of competition.
The team consisted of some players who would go on to make big names for themselves like Grant Hill, Anfernee Hardaway, and Allan Houston. But perhaps the biggest name on that team was future Kings’ star Chris Webber, who was playing for the University of Michigan at the time. Also on the squad was the player who the Kings would select in the 1993 Draft, Bobby Hurley.
While there is no official record of the event, there are plenty of eyewitnesses who all claim the same thing: the Dream Team got their butt’s whipped by the B Team on June 24th, 1992.
The scrimmage took place in San Diego and was just 20 minutes long, but the collegiate players essentially dominated the greatest team ever. According to an article from the Los Angeles Times, Webber and Rodney Rogers both dunked on Charles Barkley. Grant Hill says that Allan Houston was on fire and made 10 3’s. Multiple reports say that the college kids won by a final score of 62-54.
Hill claims they won by 20.
The Dream Team guys were impressed. There was high praise from Michael Jordan:
"“We got killed today. They beat us and they played well. We’re so out of sync and so unsure about things that we feel comfortable with in normal situations. We don’t have any continuity at all.”"
A piece made by NBATV in 2012 highlighting the event sheds more light on that historic day. Apparently, the NBA players were out of sync, and played too unselfishly. They over-passed in an attempt to defer any ego early in training camp, and the youngsters took advantage.
According to Mike Krzyzewski, who was on the coaching staff, head coach John Daly and done what he could to make sure that the Dream Team came up on the losing end of the contest. Jordan played minimally, and Coach K pointed to the odd substitutions as reason for the defeat. Daly wanted to prove to the greatest team ever that even they could be beaten on any given day.
Apparently it worked. The two teams would scrimmage the next day and a motivated Dream Team squad reportedly tore the roof off of the building.
“The next day, we couldn’t get the ball over half-court,” Hill admits.
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