Archive for basketball

The 1992 Olympic Dream Team debuted just over 20 years ago

Posted in nostalgia, pop culture with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2012 by Paxton

On June 27 the 1992 Basketball Tournament of the Americas was held in Portland, Oregon.  Just over 20 years ago. This would be the qualifying tournament for the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain.

1992 Tournament of the Americas

This particular tournament is important because it was the international debut of the 1992 Men’s Olympic Basketball Team, the original Dream Team.

Dream Team magazine

Selected the Summer before in 1991, the team consisted of co-captains Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan as well as Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner.  This would be the first time that FIBA would allow the use of NBA players on a country’s Olympic team.

Though the tournament started on June 27th, the Dream Team didn’t debut until the second day, June 28, where they played Cuba.

Here are the team intros and some highlights of that debut game.

The game was televised.  I was actually working that summer as a lifeguard.  I, unfortunately, had to work that day, but during my lunch break I ran home and watched a little over an hour of the game before having to go back.  I, of course, video taped the game so I could watch it in its entirety later that evening.  Earlier that summer, I had purchased a replica of Larry Bird’s Olympic jersey and when I ran back to work that afternoon, I wore it the rest of the day.  I still have the VHS of that game as well as Bird’s Olympic jersey.  I also would later purchase a replica Bird Celtics jersey and a replica John Stockton Jazz jersey.  They are my two favorite NBA players.

Larry Bird replica jerseyJazz jersey

The Dream Team would go on to sweep that tournament and win their birth in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.  After their spectacular debut in the tournament, the country caught Dream Team fever and, as expected from a David Stern NBA venture, the team was marketed to the general public with jerseys, videos, collector cups and more.

I’ll take a look at some of that merchandising this week in my week long look at the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.  This week will culminate in my review of the new book by Jack McCallum, The Dream Team, which is a look back at the formation of the team as well as “behind the scenes” of being on the team.

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1992 USA Olympic Dream Team 20th Anniversary collector cans from 7-Up

Posted in basketball, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, NBA, pop culture, soda, sports with tags , , , , , , , on June 26, 2012 by Paxton

Sodapalooza

This summer is the 20th anniversary of the 1992 Olympic Men’s basketball team. The original NBA “Dream Team”.  To commemorate this anniversary, 7-up products have a set of 7 collector cans featuring 5 of the legendary team’s members.

2012 Dream Team collector cans

Here is the lineup of cans available.

2012 7-up cans

The five players chosen to represent the “Dream Team” for this set are Magic Johnson (Sunkist), Larry Bird (7-Up), Patrick Ewing (A&W), Scottie Pippen (Sun Drop) and David Robinson (Canada Dry Ginger Ale).  As I said, there are only 5 of the 12 players represented, but there are 7 different cans.  Consequently, Magic Johnson is also on Diet Sunkist and David Robinson is also on Welch’s Grape.  I’m surprised they didn’t go for the full player roster and have 12 collectible player cans.  When I found out about this I was actually concerned that I would have to hunt down 12 more collector cans so soon after my last hunt for cans (see Avengers cans) just ended.  I need not worry now.  I’d like to get all of these cans but I think I’m only getting the Bird and Magic cans.  And I’ll probably get only the Diet Sunkist Magic can.

Larry Bird can Magic Johnson can

Honestly, I’m not surprised about Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley being absent from this set.  They have separate likeness deals that have always made including them in NBA deals dicey.  Jordan rarely showed up as a playable character in NBA Live games in the 90s.  However, why not include cans of Stockton and Malone, Chris Mullin, Clyde “The Glide” Drexler or Christian Laettner (not really missed, btw)?  I’m very saddened by the absence of Stockton and Malone especially.  I was a big fan of the Jazz in the late 80s – early 90s.  I’ve even seen them play at The Delta Center in Salt Lake City.  Next to Larry Bird, John Stockton is my favorite NBA player of all time.  I had planned on just getting the Stockton, Bird and Magic cans, but now, like I said, I’ll have to settle for only the Bird and Magic cans.  Which is fine by me, but I would have really liked to have a Stockton can.

So, the actual anniversary of the selection of the initial 10 Dream Team players is September 21.  I’ll be back then with a small retrospective on the team.  I had planned on doing this retrospective anyway, but it’s nice to see 7-Up, ESPN and the NBA have also remembered the anniversary of this most historic basketball team.

Oh, and NBATV has also been running an hour and a half documentary called The Dream Team.  It covers the selection, practices and tournament play of the team with footage and interviews.  It’s been running several times a day every few days.  Check it out if you get the chance.  Here’s the trailer.