There wasn’t a definitive documentary about the most important basketball team ever created. HBO was rumored to be working on a documentary about ‘The Dream Team’, but nothing materialized.
ESPN’s ’30 for 30′ documentary series raised the bar for sports documentaries. Bill Simmons once said in a podcast that he wanted to make a ‘Dream Team’ documentary, but the rights to the video from the 1992 Olympics were too expensive.
NBA TV stepped up to the plate and is debuting their documentary The Dream Team tonight at 9pm EST. I have viewed parts of the movie which is certain to be an instant classic. It contains never-before-seen video of a scrimmage that you will never believe the outcome. I list a few of the intriguing moments you will see tonight and post a video of the movie trailer.
The most talked about moment in The Dream Team will be the video of the Dream Team losing a scrimmage to a group of college all-stars. The college team consisted of Grant Hill, Chris Webber, Bobby Hurley, and other talent that ended up in the NBA. The 62-54 defeat wasn’t an official loss and mostly forgotten about because of the team’s complete domination in the 1992 Olympics.
The long-awaited footage of Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson going head-to-head in a scrimmage is also one of the film’s highlights. The MJ/Magic practice footage was one of the reasons why Bill Simmons wanted to include this topic in his ’30 for 30′ series. Karl Malone commented on the competitive nature of MJ and Magic when he appeared on ‘The Dan Patrick Show‘ this afternoon. He was asked who were the two most competitive guys on The Dream Team? Malone answered, “Michael and Magic. They were never on the same team during scrimmage and coach (Chuck) Daly didn’t have to worry about us playing hard.”
The exclusion of Isiah Thomas is explained. Everyone believed that Jordan made sure that Thomas wasn’t on the team because of the Detroit Pistons team snubbing the Chicago Bulls after losing in the previous season’s Eastern Conference Finals. The call seemed to be made by the commissioner’s office. They didn’t like the unsportsmanlike conduct that Thomas was a part of in the Finals. It was clear that Scottie Pippen and Jordan didn’t care for him, which could have helped the commissioner’s office come to their decision.
Other topics include the forgotten fact that Charles Barkley was the team’s leading scorer, the opposing teams treating Team USA like The Beatles, and how Larry Bird and Magic officially passed the torch to Jordan during the Olympics.
The Dream Team is a must watch for any basketball fan. You will feel nostalgic and see the team in a new light. That team did more for the international growth of the sport than any other team. In the last 20 years, European teams have challenged Team USA and have even beaten them in international competition.