There's been many moments in fiction and real life in which great teams and factions have been assembled. Great teams such as the 96' Bulls or the 85' Bears are teams that are going to be remembered forever. However, there is only one team who manages to change the dynamics of their respective sport forever. That team is known as the 92 Dream Team. The 92 Dream Team is the greatest basketball team ever regardless of the size of their basketball shorts. Many have even considered this team the greatest team in the history of professional sports. 

This team pushed basketball into the mainstream. It made the game popular around the world. We will discuss that more in this piece. 

The 1992 Dream Team came as a direct result of rule changes that allowed NBA players to participate in Olympic tournament play. As a result, a team was formed with some of the most iconic names in the history of basketball. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird helped to usher the NBA into the mainstream as rivals. However, they were teammates on the Dream Team. 

The team dominated in their run to the Gold medal in the Barcelona games as they beat opponents by an average of 44 points. The team was so renowned that even opponents would take pictures with opposing players. 

The Dream Team's success even prompted the president of the IOC to state that the level of good basketball displayed was the most important aspect of the 92 Olympic Games. 

The Dream Team changed basketball forever due to the fact that their performance introduced the game of basketball to future generations of international players. In many ways, the Dream Team's dominance in the Olympics was the catalyst to the explosion of the game's popularity around the world. 

At the start of the 1991-1992 season, the NBA had only 23 international players from eighteen different nations. Twenty years after the Barcelona Olympics, there were 74 international players from 35 different countries. 

As of last season, the NBA had 109 international players from 39 countries. 

Not only did the Dream Team serve to increase the quantity of international players in the league for years to come, it also helped to accentuate the level of talent that international players brought to the NBA. Tony Parker, Manu Ginoboli and Pau Gasol had impactful careers in the NBA after being inspired by seeing the Dream Team. 

The full extent of the Dream Team's impact can be seen in the legacies of Dirk Nowitzki, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nikola Jokic. They are all international players who have won MVPs and

led their teams to NBA titles. This is a true testament to how the Dream Team fostered the growth of basketball around the world.


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July 06, 2023 — Jeremiah Oglesby