What do Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson have in common besides their unbeatable basketball statuses? They were both on the 1992 US Men’s Olympic Basketball Team. Better known as “The Dream Team,” this duo along with other all-stars such as Larry Bird and Charles Barkley eased their way through the Olympics, beating the eight opposing teams by an average of 44 points, and earned the gold medal in Barcelona.
But there’s more to the story than that.
After a sloppy perfomance in an exhibition game against France, Coach Daly decided it was time for a scrimmage. He knew the team needed a fire lit under them, and with Clyde Drexler and John Stockton out with injuries, he also knew Johnson would be matched up against Jordan in a scrimmage. So that’s what they did.
When a team is comprised of a rockstar cast, there is bound to be some internal rivalry – and thank goodness for that. The scrimmage was held behind closed doors and is often referred to, as Laettner has put it, a sort of urban legend. Luckily, there was one camera rolling to capture “The Greatest Game Nobody Ever Saw.”
The teams were as follows:
Blue: led by Magic Johnson, with Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Chris Mullin, Christian Laettner
White: led by Michael Jordan, with Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird
No fans. No publicity-stunt trash talking. No refs and no coaching. This was about the game. This was about passion and leaving everything on the court. This was basketball at its absolute best.