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Dream Team 30-year anniversary: Who was on the roster? What was the starting five?

In 1991 the US announced its Barcelona Olympics men’s basketball team, arguably the greatest talent assembly of all time across all sports.

Fidel Rubio
Celebrating the US Dream Team 30 years on

The Olympics are the most important, most followed sports event worldwide. Every four years, the top athletes on the planet gather together and perform at the highest level to win a gold medal and go down in sporting history.

When thinking about the Games, most of our memories are linked to iconic moments headlined by individual athletes such as Michael Phelps, Nadia Comaneci, Usain Bolt, and Jessie Owens.

But when talking about the collective aspect of the sport at the Olympic Games, there is one team that will always remain in the minds of those generations who had the privilege to see them play: the USA men’s basketball team at Barcelona 1992.

Who was on the ‘Dream Team’ roster?

After failing to win the gold medal at the 1988 Olympics, for the first time in history, US Basketball was intent on proving the NBA remained the most competitive league for the best players in the world.

The roster put together, considered the greatest in history, was made up of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin, and Christian Laettner.

What was the starting lineup?

Just to give an idea of how dominant this team was, the closest game they contested in the entire tournament was a 32-point victory in the gold medal game against Croatia.

Chuck Daly’s men began the Olympic tournament with a complete blowout of Angola, emerging victorious by a score of 116-48 and Team USA ended up trouncing everyone, winning by an average of 43.8 points per game.

The roster was so good that there wasn’t any set starting five: Daly started Jordan in every game, and ‘Magic’ Johnson started in five of the six games he played, missing two games because of knee problems. with Pippen, Bird, Mullin, Robinson, Ewing, Malone, and Barkley rotated in the other starting spots.

The starting five for the Gold Medal game against Drazen Petrovic’s Croatia was: Michael Jordan, ‘Magic’ Johnson, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and Patrick Ewing.


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