Read Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever by Jack McCallum Online


They were the Beatles of basketball, the Mercury Seven in sneakers.   In Dream Team, acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum delivers the untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team that captivated the world, kindled the hoop dreams of countless children around the planet, and remade the NBA into a global sensation.   AsThey were the Beatles of basketball, the Mercury Seven in sneakers.   In Dream Team, acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum delivers the untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team that captivated the world, kindled the hoop dreams of countless children around the planet, and remade the NBA into a global sensation.   As a senior staff writer for Sports Illustrated, McCallum enjoyed a courtside seat for the most exciting basketball spectacle on earth, covering the Dream Team from its inception to the gold medal ceremony in Barcelona. For the duration of the Olympics, he lived with, golfed with, and—most important—drank with some of the greatest players of the NBA’s Golden Age: Magic Johnson, the ebullient showman who shrugged off his recent diagnosis of HIV to become the team’s unquestioned captain and leader; Michael Jordan, the transcendent talent at the height of his powers as a player—and a marketing juggernaut; and Charles Barkley, the outspoken iconoclast whose utterances on and off the court threatened to ignite an international incident. Presiding over the entire traveling circus was the Dream Team’s beloved coach, Chuck Daly, whose laissez-faire approach proved instrumental in getting the most out of such disparate personalities and superstars such as Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, and Scottie Pippen.   Drawing on fresh interviews with the players, McCallum provides the definitive account of the Dream Team phenomenon. He offers a behind-the-scenes look at the controversial selection process. He takes us inside the team’s Olympic suites for late-night card games and bull sessions where the players debate both the finer points of basketball and their respective places in the NBA pantheon. And he narrates a riveting possession-by-possession account of the legendary July 1992 intrasquad scrimmage that pitted the Dream Teamers against one another in what may have been the greatest pickup game—and the greatest exhibition of trash talk—in history.   In the twenty years since the Dream Team first captivated the world’s attention, its mystique has only grown—and so has its influence. The NBA is now flush with international stars, many of them inspired by the exuberant spirit of ’92. Dream Team vividly re-creates the moment when a once-in-a-millennium group of athletes came together, outperformed the hype, and changed the future of sports—one perfectly executed fast break at a time.  The Dream Team was . . .  Michael Jordan, Guard, Chicago Bulls Magic Johnson, Guard, Los Angeles Lakers Larry Bird, Forward, Boston Celtics Charles Barkley, Forward, Phoenix Suns Chris Mullin, Forward, Golden State Warriors Scottie Pippen, Forward, Chicago Bulls John Stockton, Guard, Utah Jazz Karl Malone, Forward, Utah Jazz David Robinson, Center, San Antonio Spurs Patrick Ewing, Center, New York Knicks Christian Laettner, Forward, Duke University Clyde Drexler, Guard, Portland Trailblazers...

Title : Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever
Author :
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ISBN : 9780345520487
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever Reviews

  • Andre
    2019-04-22 01:56

    I was highly disappointed in this book. Instead of being about the Dream Team, it was more about Jack McCallum’s experience covering the Dream Team. It was not about the players, the team, and what they meant to the Olympics so much as it was about the author’s feelings about them. The end product was not very enjoyable. It was, in fact, highly disappointing.The biggest takeaway for me was that McCallum’s just not good at writing long, book-length pieces. From chapter to chapter, the narrative was disjointed. It did not feel like one cohesive work, but rather a series of independent essays that, fairly often, contradicted each other. One of the major contradictions involve Isiah Thomas’ exclusion from the team. In Chapter 5, McCallum wrote that he believes the major strike against Thomas was his agreement with Dennis Rodman that Larry Bird would have been just another player had he been Black. Later, he stated that Isiah was never really under consideration because Michael Jordan’s initial reaction to being approached about playing was to tell Rod Thorn that he wouldn’t be on the team if Isiah was. Still, in another chapter, McCallum wrote that Isiah used an intermediary to lobby Magic Johnson for support and that Magic never spoke up because Isiah had questioned his sexuality after the HIV diagnosis. The initial announcement was made on September 21, 1991; Magic’s announcement wasn’t until November 7 of that year. Isiah was left off the initial roster long before Magic’s HIV was known. Other takeaways are that McCallum doesn’t have a lot of respect for Charles Barkley and that he really doesn’t like Magic Johnson. Throughout the book, he went out of his way to disparage both players. But, oh, how he loves Larry Bird. The subject of Christian Laettner versus Shaquille O’Neal was a rather large omission from the text. That subject cannot be ignored. It should have been explored.The author tried to be clever with his phrases, but it rarely worked for me. Far too often for my liking, the book was littered with condescending statements. Here’s one: “When talking about Bird, one must be careful not to carry those Midwestern attributes too far because you run the risk of making him sound dumb…” Another: “My late father-in-law was a straight-shooting kind of guy—he kept the trains running on schedule at a plant that manufactured condensers and pumps, good old-fashioned American stuff like that—so he understandably had trouble getting his mind around the Dream Team’s decision to hold pre-Olympic training in Monte Carlo.” And, man, can this man watch a newish movie? Every movie reference is so dated you would think the book was written before the Dream Team had even been assembled. Of the dozen or so films referenced, I think Basic Instinct is the most recent. I think it’s a sign that this book wasn’t written for me or my generation. It’s an old man’s book. Given the subject matter, that is probably its biggest failing.

  • evan
    2019-04-25 01:33

    Without giving away too much, here are my top 5 anecdotes from Jack McCallum's incredible book about the original Dream Team.1) Michael Jordan stayed up all night before the gold medal game vs. Croatia: playing cards and smoking cigars until dawn, filming a special video for the NBA, and even getting in a round or two of golf -- all before, you know, playing the game of basketball at the highest possible level, and helping the US secure the gold medal. Which admittedly wasn't that hard, but still! 2) Christian Laettner - team douchebag. Pretty much everything you've always thought about his is confirmed. When the rest of the team would show up to events in suits and ties, he'd be all bro'ed out in sweatpants and t-shirts, not givin' a fuck. This is why all normal people hate Duke and everyone who went there, forevermore. 3) Arvydas Sabonis was too drunk to join the rest of team Lithuania for the medal ceremony. Background: Lithuania won the Bronze medal in '92, which is a great story itself - this was a highly charged atmosphere for them (right after the Soviet Union dissolved - they beat the Russian "Unified Team" to secure their medal - a victory that was, rightfully, celebrated worldwide). As an added bonus, the Grateful Dead supported the team and gave them sweeeeet tie-dyed uniforms, which is hilarious and awesome. Anyway, turns out the team had some time to kill before receiving their medals, and Sabonis got into a vodka chugging contest with himself and had to sleep it off. Classic Arvydas, eh? 4) Ping pong, unsurprisingly, was just one of the fun, competitive activities that the Dream Teamers, their families, and other dignitaries/hangers on would engage in at the Ambassador hotel in Barcelona, in between the beat-downs of all the other countries lucky/unfortunate enough to be in Team USA's path in 1992. Shockingly, here is the hierarchy of the top players in the Dream Team contingent: 1) Laettner 2) David Stern(!)3) MJ. Yes, David Stern is apparently a bad-ass at ping pong. (Insert joke about rigging the NBA lottery here.) 5) Every detail of "The Greatest Game that Nobody Ever Saw," the infamous team scrimmage that Coach Chuck Daly organized at the team's practice facility in Monte Carlo. The greatest collection of basketball players ever, playing hard, talking trash, the works. McCallum goes play-by-play through this exhibition, and I can't describe the jealousy I experienced when reading it. Oh, to have been there. Highly recommend this book for any basketball junkies, or fans of longform sports journalism in general.

  • Kate
    2019-04-07 00:45

    Jack McCallum has basically unmatched access to NBA players, coaches, and management, and because of that, parts of this book are amazing. One of the best chapters of the book is an incredible play-by-play of a scrimmage between Jordan and Johnson-led squads that manages to provide both a thrilling account of a close basketball game and insight into the personalities of some of the greatest players of all time. The book as a whole finds a great balance between the individual players and their dynamic as a team. While I can't say enough good things about the parts of this book that focus on the players (both their games and their lives), parts of this book were frustrating enough to make me periodically put the book down and read another before picking it back up again.Unfortunately, McCallum plays an outsized role in this narrative, and the book suffers when he becomes a character. He tells one anecdote about driving several of the Dream Teamers around Monaco, taking the curves like he's a Bond character. The story ends with the author ignoring Charles Barkley's panicked cries for him to slow down before he kills them all. This is obviously meant to be a funny story about the time he out-crazied Barkley, but it makes McCallum look like a sociopath without adding anything to the larger narrative. He also spends a bit too much time dwelling on uninteresting conversations with Larry Bird, the player he obviously admires the most. In some of these instances, there's actually a parenthetical basically noting that you had to be there to really get what was so witty or insightful about Bird's remarks. He also frequently wades into pretty offensive territory when he talks about race or gender. In one section he apologizes profusely for an earlier slight to Bird that involved quoting him in dialect. McCallum rightly recognized that this made Bird look dumb and that he shouldn't have done it, but the apology veers into nonsense territory when he puts his actions down to "reverse racism", swearing that he'd never have done that to a black player" (he spends parts of the book doing this to black players). It would be a little less bothersome if McCallum's thoughts on racism (the kind that actually exists) weren't so dumb. His descriptions of white players as smart and hardworking and black players as talented alpha males demonstrates an incredible lack of self-awareness. At one point he ventures close to a realization that this is a racist trope, but quickly backs down. He's discussing a poll about the smartest player in the NBA, one in which white players captured a huge majority of the votes, when he finally bothers to ask himself "is this racist?" He follows up with a giant shrug ("I couldn't really say") and moves so quickly on to other things that it's not clear why he bothered at all with this moment of almost-reflection.This is a story about men, and so McCallum doesn't have that many natural opportunities to say anything offensive about women, but he still manages to get a few shots in. The most egregious might be the section where tries to put a professional athlete's troubles in the context of what he believes to be the plight of working class men and women. For men, this includes working long hours; for women, cleaning house and carrying children. Like most of the worst parts of this book, it's so bothersome because it feels so unnecessary.Still, despite the worst of it, I'm really glad I read this book. The behind the scenes stories are incredible, and I'd highly recommend it if you're even a little interested in basketball history.

  • Andrew
    2019-03-31 00:40

    It was fine when McCallum wasn't busy inserting the asides about himself and dishing out gossip like an eighth grader. At times, I felt kind of sorry for him because it sounded suspiciously like he was attaching himself to this athletic collective in the hopes that some of their ____ (fill in the blank - awesomeness, prowess, attractiveness) would rub off on him. I definitely got the sense that some players were people he DESPERATELY wanted (wants?) to be personal friends with (Barkley, Bird and Jordan) while some players (Ewing and Laettner) he covered simply because they were on the team and he knew he had to say something about them. His handling of Magic was oddly sterile - almost like he knew he had to juxtapose Magic with Michael but that if he was too honest, his own opinion that heavily favored Michael would show through. His unabashed hostility towards Drexler was amazing: at points, it definitely felt like I was back in George C. Marshall Middle School and half of the class was friends with Clyde and half of the class (the part McCallum was in) was friends with Michael and he was the kid telling the new kids that there's no way you can be friends with both Michael AND Clyde.Don't get me wrong - it was entertaining and a worthy read but it was WAY more gossipy that I was expecting it to be.

  • Eduardo Bahena
    2019-03-30 01:46

    The plot is mainly about basketball players for the 90's mostly from Michael Jordans time. It talks about how several players for the NBA had a chance to live a dream and go on to the Olympics and win the Gold Medal for basketball. I think that the book and events moved slowly first of all because the book is pretty long and the NBA season goes by slow as well. It was intresting because at those times players like Michael Jordan Larry Bird and Magic Johnson use to compete to see who was the best player at their time. They were all trying to make it to the Olympics but them not knowing all three of them went to the Olympics they were known as the Dream Team. My favorite character in the book was Michael jordan because he was the best NBA player of all time and of their time. I also liked Larry Bird and magic Johnson those three in my opinion made up the Dream Team. This tought me that these NBA players never stopped in beliving that they could and would make it to the olympics then won the gold medal.

  • Anthony
    2019-04-07 22:48

    1992 seems like a lifetime away, and I guess it was if you are 20 years old. For those of us who can actually remember 1992 and were basketball fans even then, “Dream Team” is a treat. Sports journalist Jack McCallum doesn’t chronicle everything about the ’92 Olympic basketball team and their games and victories. This is not a transcript of the play by play. What he does is give us is insight into how the Dream Team came to be, from getting the go ahead to allow professional athletes to play in the Olympics to the attainment of gold. In addition we get a glimpse of the past and present of those stars and we learn a little about what they are up to now. Jack kind of gives us a little basketball version of VH1’s behind the music. He provides us with the backstage access to one of history’s greatest basketball teams which included Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Patrick Ewing, Karl Malone, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Christian Laettner, and Coach Chuck DalyNow, there has been a recent claim by one Kobe Bryant that the 2012 incantation of the U.S. Basketball team could defeat the 1992 Dream Team. My only response to that is a gut busting laugh, because he must have been joking. Michael Jordan laughed as I did, and while admitting that the new guard may have a physical edge, they aren’t as smart. I would also venture to guess that there are few players today who are as competitive as the ’92 squad. Jordan, Bird, and Magic took competitive to a whole other level. Today’s players only care about personal stats and money; winning is secondary to the other two goals. I’ve read quite a bit about Bird (one of my favorite athletes of all time) and Magic, and through their words and this book I have come to a grudging acceptance of Jordan’s greatness. These three together just had a head for the game and they learned how to work as a team, they had a killer instinct, and they never shrunk from the big moment. Basketball experienced a complete renaissance in the 80’s early 90’s and it culminated with the Dream Team. The Dream Team proved to be a boon for international competition, bringing the game to a worldwide audience and creating new basketball fans and players in far off lands. No matter how good players get, I find it highly improbable that any proceeding team could ever be as good as that one. This is a great read for the Basketball fan and historian.

  • Chris Gordon
    2019-04-12 20:43

    As a huge fan of basketball, I can say that this book did not disappoint. This eponymous book follows the Dream Team of the 1992 Olympics led by such NBA superstars as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley, among other now hall of famers. The perspective is that of a sports writer who tags along with the Dream Team at the Olympic games. Jack McCallum thus has a unique insight into the off-the-court happenings of some of the greatest basketball stars to ever play the sport. Dream Team recounts many entertaining behind-the-scenes stories of the Dream Teamers when they weren't defeating their opponents by embarrassingly large margins. If you're a fan of some of these basketball legends, you'll love reading about their interactions with one another. Being a Knicks fan (yeah I know, I'm a glutton for punishment), I found the excerpt detailing Patrick Ewing and Larry Bird becoming close friends to be quite interesting. Here you have two of the seemingly most opposite kinds of people coming together to form an unlikely friendship, proving that there is much more to be seen of these sports stars than meets the eye. I also got a kick out of the rivalry between Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson over who would be the team leader. Their private pick-up game against each other must have been quite a sight to behold!If I had one complaint about this book, it would be that McCallum goes a bit overboard telling these stories as they relate to his personal experience whilst being an observer. Rather than flesh out what Jordan might have been thinking at any given moment or exploring in-depth the uncanny relationships that spawned between some of the players, McCallum writes a fair amount on what he thought or felt as a journalist and sports fan. Although that approach isn't necessarily unheard of in a book such as this, I wish more time and attention was devoted solely to the players, as I picked up Dream Team to read about Jordan and Ewing, not McCallum. Though any seasoned fan of basketball and the NBA might have already heard some of these anecdotes and stories, Dream Team is nonetheless a great pick-up. Besides having full game footage of the Olympic basketball games themselves, I'd say that this book is as complete an account of the Dream Team's historic outing as you can find. At the very least, it provides a lot of insider information that you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else.

  • Steve
    2019-04-22 19:30

    This book was difficult for me to score. First off, the subject matter is near and dear to my heart. I love the basketball that was played in the 1980's and 1990's. I was a huge fan of Magic, Clyde Drexler, Charles Barkley and others of the era. I also love hearing about how these guys came together and gave up their summer to be the first group of NBA players to compete in the Olympics. So, most of the content was interesting, especially the 'behind the scenes' stories of the closed practices, and the background of Chuck Daly and other players. There's a lot of interesting and enlightening commentary that supposedly came from the players as filtered through the author. Unfortunately, the author is, in my opinion, the weak link in this project. While being grammatically correct and without typos, I found that he writes in a style similar to an adolescent boy, too often focusing on the petty sniping and whiny resentments that I would expect more from a Cosmopolitan magazine article than a former Sports Illustrated author. He also would add filler to beef up the book which would be monotonous and annoying. For example, while talking about what a cultural icon Michael Jordan is and how he is a "frame of reference", McCallum spent almost an entire page listing people: Patricia Zhou from the Royal Ballet of London will be the Michael Jordan of Ballet...Itzhak Perlman is the Michael Jordan of the violin. A character on ABC's Happy Endings is the Michael Jordan of ruining relationships etc.For the actual content regarding the basketball related information, I'd give the book four stars, but for the authors digressions, I'd give the book a one and a half.

  • Trace Guzman
    2019-04-16 20:51

    Wow. I applaud you, Mr. McCallum, both for the greatness of Dream Team, and the fact that you could experience all of this! The stories he tells in this book will be sure to change the way you look at the Dream Team. He tells it as if he's your dad or grandpa, telling you about his hey-days, with a mix of a documentary-style writing. Whole paragraphs in parenthesis gives a "Oh, and by the way..." feel, while writing about a scrimmage like commentating gives a feel of an actual game. Something that makes this book so great is that is does not just talk about basketball, it talked about the personalities of the players. Along with this came the showing of the fact that these guys were not gods or perfect people. Throughout this book, I learned so much, to the point that I look at all of them so much differently after I finished the book. One player I didn't even know of (David Robinson) ended up being one of my favorite players. When describing the coach, Chuck Daly, the author talks about how Daly once commented how "the subtle pinstripe" in his suit was "the perfect match for the gold coloring in [the] tie" (McCallum 66). The author then says, "Try to imagine, say, Bill Belichick acting that way before a playoff game; actually, try to imagine Bill Belichick noticing that his pinstripes matched his tie" (McCallum 67). It is this kind of humor that is sprinkled throughout the book that contributes to it being such a joy to read. McCallum, when describing Charles Barkley, said, "What he said on Tuesday might go against what he said on Monday, but that didn't matter because he'd say something else on Wednesday" (McCallum 78). He also told of Barkley's classic quote about Angola and did not leave out that fact that he elbowed an opponent in that game. This shows and is a good example of how the author knows, and shows, that this team was not made of saints and angels. These were human beings, flawed human beings, just like everyone else. He wrote about the differences between Barkley and the man he elbowed, showing that Barkley was not justified in elbowing the man. Along with the personalities of each player, came the relationships between them. Probably one of the least expected things was the relationships that existed between the players. For instance, the main reason that Isiah Thomas was not on the Dream Team was because Michael Jordan said he would not play if Thomas, his rival, was on the team. Also, he talked about the friendship that flourished between Larry Bird and Patrick Ewing, who became known as "Harry and Larry." "'They were just two unlikely guys to be close, I guess,' said Jordan, 'but there they were, hanging out, every night'" (McCallum 169). Another point made by McCallum was that this Dream Team lived on, that it was timeless. He gives examples of how "...John Stockton, a buttoned'down, no-nonsense point guard, is on a track in a 2011 release by Brooklyn rapper Nemo Achida..." and so on (McCallum XX). He gives more than half of a page of different "Michael Jordan"'s of their profession or area, just rattling off, one by one, different people and saying so-and-so is the Michael Jordan of blah-blah-blah. One last subject he discusses throughout the book is the polotics of everything. How FIBA decided that they would allow NBA players, who thought of that, all of the committees and executives tangled in the whole experience, etc.--all of that is told and talked about in Dream Team. No, he is not just a commentator writing what happened in the games, no, in fact most of this book is about the personas, the childhood, the politics, etc. That is what makes it so much fun and so interesting to read. As McCallum put it, "[The Dream Team] was a secret kingdom to which I had one of the keys, at least to a side door" (McCallum 162). And, that was how he told the story and events, as he saw it, or heard about it, or learned about it through interviews. But, wow, he is a lucky man. I would have given a kidney to have key to a doggy door to this kingdom, and he was having casual lunches and joking with some of the most respected, amazing, and legendary players ever to walk this earth. So, it is clear that little was known about the Dream Team, and I am glad Jack McCallum told us of the wonderful untold stories of this time. This has to be one of his greatest achievements of his life.So now, Mr. McCallum, I applaud you for the greatness of Dream Team, being there for the ride, and spreading the knowledge of the Dream Team that this generation is deprived of.

  • Ashley
    2019-03-29 21:46

    Some of my fondest memories include sitting in funky Chicago Stadium and watching Jordan and Pippen play with my dad.I don't remember the Dream Team very well (I was 8 in 1992), but there's no denying their cultural impact. This book did a good job of talking about the interplay between players. It reinforced some things I knew well (Michael Jordan is a jerk) and other things I didn't know at all. (Bird does not seem like he would be a trash talker, but he was one of the greats)I wish the author talked more about the games. I know there's probably not much to say about them, but I felt like there wasn't very much basketball. But it was cool to see the personalities and the trash talking. I have to admit that the image of Ewing and Bird hanging out and being BFFs makes me smile.

  • Brian Jones
    2019-04-08 18:53

    First, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book; much more than many I have rated higher. I guess that I am rating this on a curve because I am a basketball junkie of that era. Said another way: I am the target demographic for this book. This is a good behind the scenes look at how these Greats interacted with each other and generally showed a their reverence for the game. Dream Team may not be the best basketball book that I have read (either "Playing their Hearts Out" or "Art of the Beautiful Game"), but it's definitely worth a read if you have fond memories of the Dream Team (and there is only one) or any of it's players. Something I believe we would agree about: Jack McCallum had one hell of of job/life for at least that period of his career!

  • Barnabas Piper
    2019-04-11 17:34

    Loved this account of the greatest team ever assembled. They were so iconic in my childhood and McCallum writes it wonderfully. He has sort of an old-fashioned sports reporter style that suits an easy 90s team just fine. It is a great behind-the-scenes look without being tabloid or exploitative. You get a sense of the team dynamic and interpersonal reactions without it being psychobabbly. He writes the games and basketball portions without being overly-detailed. Over all a fantastic read for ball fans.

  • Owen
    2019-04-09 22:30

    If you like basketball, read this book. If you don't you may not even want to read this review.For people around my age, this book covers a seminal piece of our childhood. I remember being angry that they hadn't won the gold in 2008 (mostly remember my dad being angry about it). Then there was the slow rumbling about pro players going to the next Olympics, then the rumblings about who might go (Magic out of retirement?! Bird? Sir Charles? ...Michael?), then I remember getting giddy when I heard the names of who was going (Michael!), then the Tournament of the Americas beat downs (the indignity of the US playing their way into the Olympics, our gold medal birthright!) - and then the Basketball Justice League went out and did exactly what a 12 -year-old hero-worshipping boy thought they would do. I loved every second of it. 40+ beat downs of sad little nations I've never heard of? Beautiful. The emotional dismantling of a future NBA All-Star? Please step up, Mr. Kukoc. Vicious Charles Barkley elbow to the skinny chest of some unnamed Angolan? Magnificent (After a classic Sir Charles quote before the game: "I don't know nothin bout Angola, but Angola's in trouble.") I got giddy all over again, this time as a grown man.This book will walk you through that glory. I fear that it was the high water mark for anything American- that we as a nation will never be as good at anything globally as we were at basketball at that moment. (For those of you who think the 2012 team could beat the 1992 team, I'll explain with some technical detail why that's wrong below. But my first and best reason is that 2012 didn't have Michael Jordan). The utter domination of the actual Olympics, more of a coronation than a series of competitions, outstrips my ability to describe it. In fairness, no nation may have ever been this much better than the rest of the world at anything than the Dream Team was at basketball.This book takes you behind the scenes of the selection process, the way the players committed. It shows the leadership qualities Magic commanded (and portends his future success as a businessman), the level of respect accorded to a barely ambulatory Larry Bird-a known quantity from Magic, of course, but also from Jordan, Mullin and his odd-couple best friend on the team, Ewing. Bird, barely able to walk most mornings of that season had averaged 19, 7 and 5 while wearing a giant back brace.... and, again, barely able to walk. His contributions to the Dream Team were mostly ceremonial, but no less important- it's not like they needed more talent, they were winning by 40 and opponents were trying to get pictures with them before the games. It gave me a new respect for Chuck Daly (who I met when he coached the Nets, and was very nice to me). It reminded me how good Charles Barkley was. It reminded me of how Isaiah got screwed (by Jordan), how he sent a message to Stockton (dropped 44 on him, though Stockton had 28 and 14 assists and the Jazz won), then how the next time the Jazz and Pistons met, Isaiah started sending the same message, only Karl Malone had one for him... that came with a concussion and 40 stitches. (Also, Karl Malone was not a guy to be trifled with). And it reminded me why Michael Jordan was the most dominant athlete I've ever seen in any sport.The book details the greatest game no one ever saw, the legendary Magic vs Michael pick up game with two guys out- no subs, every available pair of legs- nine hall of famers and legit basketball immortals (and Christian Laettner) battling for something they cared about so much more than money. McCallum apparently got his hands on footage from the game and walks through every possession and quote. It's dreamlike.Finally, the 2012 team. Easily the second-best team of all time, there are those that think they could beat the 1992 team. They're wrong. LeBron might be the most physically gifted human ever to play basketball, but the way to slow him down is to hound him with an athlete near his size with a legitimate rim protector behind him. Indiana made his life difficult, and 2012 Paul George and Roy Hibbert are not Scottie Pippin and Robinson/Ewing. Kevin Durant would wilt under the force that was 1992 Michael. This is not a slight- everyone wilted under 1992 Michael. Magic always had trouble staying in front of waterbug point guards, but he dealt with Isaiah and Mr. Westbrook isn't there just yet (though CP3 is an advantage- the one and three spots would be slight advantages for the 2012 team). And all that is before you get to the matchup nightmare that was Sir Charles, AND the massive advantage at center. David Robinson didn't win titles by accident. Super athletic 7'1 lefties who win scoring titles and can score 70 in a game (?!) don't just wander in any time. The abilities of several of these guys are often overshadowed by the Jordan force of nature (and 6 titles)- specifically Robinson, Barkley and Mullin.The bottom line goes beyond just talent and matchups- it's mentality. The 1992 team was full of guys who played basketball like it was a holy war. Sure, they got paid, but no one was a 'brand' before Michael (and the Dream Team went a long way towards making players into brands). Every member of the 2012 team is a brand, a business. These guys have business managers, publicists, charities- other things they did besides basketball. The 1992 team only had one player like that (even Magic wasn't just yet), and Michael Jordan was a pathologically ferocious competitor- the greatest competitor I've ever seen in any sport. Michael's will contorted teammates, opposing players and referees. We've never seen anything like him, and the 2012 team, in a league where the players have been buddies since AAU games as kids, would not be prepared for the ferocity the 1992 team competed with (not without Derrick Rose, anyway). The 1992 team believed they were the greatest team of all time- and they would defend that title. It mattered to them. Plus, who do you want coaching a brawl between evenly matched teams- Coach K or the guy who invented the Bad Boy Pistons?But, still, I'd love to see that game.If you've gotten through this much of this review, just go get the book, you'll love it.Owen Gardner Finnegan

  • Rosenkavalier
    2019-04-06 17:38

    Angola is in troubleIl Dream Team e' uno dei più efficaci argomenti mai proposti a favore del politeismo. Fare l'elenco dei nomi di questo Pantheon cestistico sarebbe superfluo, quindi farò un elenco di soprannomi (nella mitologia sono anche più importanti): - Magic - The Hick from French Lick - Air - The Glide - The Stock - The Round Mound of Rebound - The Admiral - The Mailman - The Hoya-Destroya Dei tre giocatori mancanti, due non dispongono di un soprannome (Chris Mullin e Scottie Pippen), mentre il terzo salì sull'aereo per sbaglio e non sarà qui nominato*. Nota per chi avesse trascorso gli ultimi 20 anni presso la sede distaccata di Plutone: il Dream Team è la squadra di basket che gli USA allestirono per le Olimpiadi di Barcellona 92, riunendo alcuni dei più grandi giocatori mai esistiti (e che probabilmente mai esisteranno) nella prima occasione in cui ai pro dell’NBA era stato permesso di partecipare ai Giochi. Fino ad allora, per rispettare la regola dilettantistica olimpica, la nazionale americana era stata composta di giocatori selezionati dal campionato universitario. Questo non aveva impedito agli eredi spirituali del Rev. Naismith di vincere tutti gli ori disponibili (al netto dei boicottaggi), fino alla disfatta di Seul 1988 in semifinale contro l’URSS (la cui ossatura era peraltro lituana, a cominciare dallo Zar di Kaunas, il Principe del Baltico Arvydas Sabonis).Il libro non racconta clamorosi retroscena. La cosa più interessante è probabilmente il “play-by-play” della celeberrima partitella di allenamento giocata a Montecarlo tra i due quintetti capitanati, rispettivamente da Magic Johnson e Michael Jordan. McCallum rende il giusto omaggio al visionario Boris Stankovic, vero ideatore dell’apertura dei cinque cerchi ai pro e lungimirante sostenitore dell’idea – non popolarissima all’epoca nell’ambiente dei comitati olimpici - che per migliorare bisogna competere coi migliori. La mia storia preferita rimane quella della neonata nazionale lituana, “sponsorizzata” dai Grateful Dead. Poi ci sono le parti con Larry Bird, di cui ogni cosa che leggo me lo rende più simpatico (il che testimonia della mia onestà datosi che, come si suol dire dalle parti di Orange County, il sottoscritto sanguina giallo-viola). Insomma, è aneddottica curiosa, a volte gustosa, ben raccontata, gli appassionati più o meno sanno cosa leggeranno.Chi c’era, del resto, si ricorda bene l’avvento della squadra più forte di ogni epoca in ogni sport, gli avversari che facevano a gara per farsi fotografare con i giocatori USA, gli scarti oratoriali, le polemiche sull’atteggiamento – si presumeva spocchioso e superficiale – che le superstars americane avrebbero tenuto (mica vero, l’operazione fu anche un capolavoro diplomatico). Sull’atteggiamento, onestamente avevo qualche dubbio anch’io. Poi finalmente arrivò la partita di apertura, con l’Angola nel comodo (o scomodo) ruolo di vittima sacrificale. In teoria, l’avversario perfetto da affrontare in ciabatte e con la testa altrove. A tenere “alta“ l’attenzione ci avrebbe pensato quel genio dadaista di Charles Barkley, rifilando una gomitata a un angolano che lo aveva abbracciato troppo stretto. Il suddetto Barkley aveva rilasciato, il giorno prima, l’ intervista pre-partita più famosa di quelle Olimpiadi (e probabilmente tuttora nella top ten ogni epoca, di sicuro è nella mia). The basketball world was about to be in trouble.* Trattasi di Christian Laettner, stella di Duke University, unico giocatore del Dream Team proveniente dal College Basket.

  • Hunter
    2019-04-19 21:30

    Dream Team by Jack McCallum (New York Times Bestseller), is a book about the 1992 “Dream Team” of basketball featuring Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson. It talks about how the law was changed for NBA players to compete in Olympic competition just 8 months after the 1988 Olympics where the U.S.A. won bronze. It talks about how the 1992 “Dream “Team” dominated the competition and not only changed basketball for the U.S. but the entire world as well. This book is worth reading for many reasons. If you aren’t that familiar with basketball, it’ll make for an interesting subject. If you are familiar with basketball, you are still guaranteed to learn something from this book as it gives many insights and behind-the-scenes stories about the 1992 Olympic team. Each chapter is dedicated to one of 13 members of the team and talks about their story and a little bit of personality. This book goes really in depth with the story of how they changed the law for pros to have eligibility to compete in the Olympic competition. The writer Jack McCallum pieced together one of the greatest sports stories ever provides a ton of interesting facts.

  • Jake
    2019-03-26 00:36

    A really well done by the only writer who could do it. McCallum was granted unprecedented access to the great stars to get their perspective, including the notoriously difficult interviewees Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. He is also great at giving each star fair and equal face time (I enjoyed that Karl Malone was such a contrarian), while still acknowledging the fact that the Bird-Magic-MJ troika loomed over everyone. The Chuck Daly stuff, on the coach of whom I knew so little about, was great. And McCallum might have the only oral history of what has been considered by many to be the greatest game ever played (a scrimmage in Monte Carlo before the Dream Team departed for Spain). He also acknowledges the proverbial elephant in the room: John Stockton being picked over Isiah Thomas for the Dream Team. The general consensus is that Michael Jordan didn't want Thomas on the team and thus it didn't happen. And Daly and Magic, supposedly two of his closest compatriots, didn't lobby for him either. Race might have played a factor to be sure and McCallum doesn't run from this. You might be disappointed if you expect to learn anything shocking here, unless you consider a bunch of people scared to contract HIV from Magic Johnson shocking. There are no amazing, behind-the-scenes revelations that'll knock you off your seat. The book isn't exactly vanilla but it's a couple steps away from a puff piece. For instance, McCallum has to qualify every minute controversial stance he takes with a bunch of evidence and a "that's just my opinion"-line. Hey Jack? I don't need you to feel frightened in telling me that Charles Barkley was a bleephole for elbowing that Angolan player. Pretty sure most people would agree.At any rate, it's an excellent book that any basketball, or really sports fan, should purchase and devour immediately.

  • J.A.
    2019-03-28 23:41

    I was a basketball-loving fifteen-year-old when the Dream Team went to Barcelona for the 1992 Olympics. I collected newspaper stories about the team, and still have the old Sports Illustrated articles. As such, the most revelatory portion of this book was the chapter on the impact of the Dream Team on future international players. It describes a 14-year-old Dirk Nowitzki, who played handball in Germany, wanting to play basketball - not like his mom and sister or his countryman and idol Detlef Schrempf - but rather like do-it-all Dream Teamer Scottie Pippen. Manu Ginobili, then a 15-year-old watching, is now an Olympian in his own right, representing Argentina. His recently retired teammate on the San Antonio Spurs, Tim Duncan, was a sixteen-year-old swimmer in the Bahamas who watched. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Ginobili was on the Argentinian team that defeated Duncan and the dysfunctional American team en route to winning the gold medal. In that sense, my international contemporaries are more the rightful heirs of the Dream Team legacy than any iteration of the American national team since. As for me, 1992 was a banner year on the basketball front. The Fab Five of Michigan met Duke in the NCAA Championship game in April. I successfully dunked for the first time in May. Chris Webber and the college team got the better of Christian Laettner and the Dream Team the first time they played in June. I worked hard on my game and made the sophomore team that fall. When my high school coach visited basketball camps he would take me along to show the campers they too could "be like Mike." Getting cut as a freshman was the only thing I ever had in common with Michael Jordan!

  • Timothyarnold1973
    2019-04-20 23:29

    I got more out if this than I thought I would. A few takeaway points.-Though from a talent standpoint Isiah Thomas unquestionably belonged on the team it's hard to get too worked up over his exclusion. He had alienated Jordan, Bird, and even to some extent his buddy Magic. It's a reap what you sow type of deal. I found it interesting that when Stockton went down with an injury and was considered being replaced the names floated were Joe Dumars, Kevin Johnson, and Tim Hardaway-I have always been a Magic fan and I am convinced that 99% of his public persona is genuine. That said, he's got a lot of politician in him.-The Magic-Jordan relationship is a complex one. Magic saw Jordan as a peer, Jordan respected Magic but thought that he was the superior player and Magic's time was done. (Jordan is right on both accounts)-Chuck Daly doesn't get credit for being the perfect coach of this team.-Bird was done by 1992. He could barely play and, frankly, was as much a token on the team as Christian Laettner was. I recall thinking how old Bird and Magic were at this time. I considered them borderline elderly at the time. As I write this I am 39. In 1992 Larry Bird was 35. Magic Johnson was 33. -Say what you will about David Stern. He deserves a ton of credit for always having Magic's back during the ignorance filled days of Magic's HIV announcement -Barkley is proof that good guys can sometimes do bad things. Lesson: give people a second (or third, or fourth) chance and you may be surprised-The USOC is a joke.

  • Lukas Kott
    2019-04-21 20:55

    Lukas Kott Dream team book reviewI thought that this was one of my favorite books I read. It was very factual but the facts interested me. I liked knowing what went on before the dream team played their games. I got to know more about each player and get a good background on each player. I learned a lot of things about what really happened and what the experience was really like. I felt like I was actually at the games and the practices. It seemed as if I was in the hotel being with the team the author did a great job explaining what each player was like and how some acted around each other. "Hey man lets not kill these babies, they started playing like it was game 7" (McCallum 128). I think this quote formed the dream teams identity. It proved that they were a force not be messed with. They were the real deal and showed that they were relentless immortal basketball gods. That they wanted to score and beat teams by as many points possible. This is why they became the dream team. I would like to recommend this to seventh grade boys and above. It's a really good book if you are into sports and like basketball I think anyone who is a basketball fan should read this. You learn things about players you don't know the facts surprisingly pulled me in wanting to know more. I highly recommend this book as one of my all time favorites and give it a ten out of ten.

  • Brian
    2019-04-18 19:49

    I read and loved Jack Mcallum's chronicles of the Nash, Marion, Stodemire and D'antoni era suns while I was travelling about 5 years ago and loved. It was a drag reading it though, because you already knew that the suns weren't going to make it past the conference finals and lose to the Mavericks. But the best part was seeing how the players and coaches interacted with each. How much NBA coaching, isn't so much coaching but just managing personalities and maintaining a delicate balance of competitiveness and happiness. The Dream Team was basically the same thing, except maybe a bit more grand in its narrative. Mcallum has the benefit of 20 years of hindsight to comment on the mindsets of his subjects. He makes pronouncments about the failings of Barkley and Lethner and all the other Dream Teamers. But, for some reason it seemed a bit presumptious to me...Like 7 seconds or less, you know how it's going to end. The US gets gold, and the basketball landscape is changed forever. But I think I liked 7 seconds or less better because of how McAllum was learning about all the players and coaches as he wrote about them.

  • Samantha
    2019-04-22 18:32

    Boy, this book brings back the memories for me. I was fascinated with the Dream Team even if they killed everyone in every game. This book brought back a lot of memories. It is full of stories. It starts from the beginning with them trying to get the pros to even be allowed to play in the Olympics then goes to gather/picking the team to practicing to playing the game. It follows up with finding out where everyone is now. There were a lot of stories that you've probably heard before and many you haven't (John Stockton and Chris Mullin). I was shocked at how easy it was to read/follow and just to remember what happened based on what Mr. McCallum describes. I can understand how the Dream Team inspired Dirk Nowitski and Tony Parker growing up. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to relive those days and find out more about what took place. However I would also recommend it to any player that is looking for more history about how America was a great power in basketball and where it has gone.

  • Joseph Pacey
    2019-04-02 21:36

    Anyone who is a fan of basketball, especially those of us who were caught up in the Dream Team phenomenon, should read this book. Given that it has been 25 years since the Dream Team was formed, and I was only 11 at the time, some of the details had faded and softened. But McCallum's retelling and further insights to what has already been written documented about the team are pure basketball gold. The individual stories of each of the members as told by McCallum are captivating (if already familiar) and the inner workings of them together as teammates will interest even the casual fan.From the idea of putting pros into the Olympics, to the selection of the team (sorry Isaiah), to Magic's HIV diagnosis, to Jordan's gambling, to Barkley's elbow, to Bird's subsequent retirement... McCallum weaves it all together to tell the tale of a watershed time in basketball's history and of the greatest team ever assembled.

  • Nathan
    2019-04-05 18:48

    I'm not a fast reader, but I read this in only a few days. It was like a walk down memory lane. When the Dream Team came together I was in the midst of my obsession with basketball, the NBA, and the Chicago Bulls (I'm still a huge Bulls fan), and I remember going from finding out there would be a Dream Team, to seeing who was actually going to be on it, and then watching on in awe as they obliterated their competition. Seeing all those living legends of basketball playing together was almost a religious experience when it happened, and being reminded of the way they came together as a team, as well as learning about everything that went on behind the scenes was a lot of fun. I loved this book and highly recommend it to anyone who has any interest in the Dream Team, the NBA, or basketball in general.

  • Zack Davoodi
    2019-04-24 23:44

    Reads absolutely brilliantly and full of excellent stories about the greatest team that will ever be assembled. I'm quite fond of Jack McCallum's style and this doesn't deviate one bit. Picked this one up after reading his Phoenix Suns book, and this was even better."On the Dream Team, Magic was the public voice and Bird did the private things that set a tone. One Day he left his practice gear in the wrong place, and a team manager, Jay Price, now an assistant at Illinois, couldn't find it. 'I'll go get it, Larry,' said Price. 'It was my mistake, Jay,' said Bird, 'I'll get it.' And before Price could even move, Bird was off. He doesn't deserve the Medal of Honor for that, but it's a telling little nugget that helps explain how the Dream Team operated. Ed Lacerte, the Celtics and Dream Team trainer, watched this and said to Price: 'That's why he is who he is.'"

  • Leslie Wilkins
    2019-03-29 22:58

    I entered the giveaway contest for this book with my husband in mind, and he was SO excited when I surprised him with the book when it came in the mail. He's thoroughly enjoying it. Though he loves basketball, he doesn't usually read non-fiction, but this book is definitely keeping his attention. Thank you, GR, for the giveaway!

  • Mike
    2019-04-15 20:29

    I originally gave this two stars, but I think it was because I'm used to reading fiction (action, climactic scenes, etc). This is a very factual account and it wasn't all that exciting of a read. However, I'm raising my rating to three stars because it's all I've talked about this week so it is definitely interesting and worth a read.

  • Chip
    2019-03-31 22:56

    Very interesting, insightful and fun (and literally at times laugh out loud funny) read re the (hard to argue) greatest team of all time. Four stars rather than five only because, well, given the subject matter not like it could have real depth.

  • Mark
    2019-04-19 23:45

    I can never get enough of this team, and Jack McCallum is fantastic. If you like basketball even a little bit, read this book.

  • Anne
    2019-03-29 22:45

    Good behind the scenes look at an exciting time. A bit dated in terms of the portraits of boys being boys but still a good read.

  • John Lamb
    2019-04-18 20:33

    I don't even like basketball, but this managed to grab my attention, especially through the rapport the players had with each other and the resulting trash talk that came with this rapport,