So this week I’ve been looking at the 1992 Dream Team as this year is their 20th anniversary. On Monday I talked about their first appearance in the Tournament of Americas. On Thursday I looked at how that team had been merchandised and marketed to the world. Today, I’m going to review a brand new book about the Dream Team that came out a week ago. It’s a behind the scenes book written by Sports Illustrated writer Jack McCallum. The book is titled simply, Dream Team.
On the surface, this book is similar to another book that was released in 1993 called The Golden Boys by Cameron Stauth.
Like Stauth, McCallum was a reporter that hung around the Dream Team at the time of the 1992 Olympics. McCallum gathered his notes and interviews with an eye towards releasing his book, like Stauth, right after the team won gold. Unlike Stauth, McCallum’s book deal fell through. McCallum kept those notes, however, and used them to write this new book. And he supplemented it with new interviews.
Unlike Stauth, however, since this new book is being released 20 years later, he can get some perspective on the 12 man circus that was known as the original Dream Team. None of these guys are still active in the NBA. Twenty years makes people a lot more comfortable about revealing what really went on. In Stauth’s book, you weren’t going to get the honest truth so close to the situation (except from, maybe, Charles Barkley). With McCallum, new interviews with the members of the team and the officials/executives that made the team happen are much more candid. People now are much more willing to talk about the behind the scenes machinations that made this team. And this is why McCallum’s book is endorsed by the NBA and Team USA and Stauth’s book was not.
Case in point, the controversy surrounding the exclusion of Detroit Pistons point guard, Isiah Thomas. McCallum covers this topic at length. It’s very interesting what everyone has to say about this. Essentially, it comes down to Thomas really keeping himself off the team, but, there were definitely people that didn’t want him there. Players and executives.