I just finished watching NBA TV's 90-minute documentary on the 1992 U.S. Olympic team - for the second time in two nights - which means that it comes highly recommended. While there isn't a ton of new material here, at least for a handful (or so) of us who traveled with the Dream Team that summer to La Jolla, Portland and the Games in Barcelona, of course, preceded by a week-long stay at a seaside resort in Monte Carlo. (Yeah. That week in Monte Carlo was tough duty).
But the anecdotes, interviews and the back stories are no less compelling today than they were 20 years ago. And players tend to become more candid as the years pass, so there's that, too. Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Chuck Daly, etc. The Isiah Thomas snub. Jack McCloskey's protest and resignation from USA Basketball. Charles and the elbow in Angola. John Stockton and Karl Malone breaking out of their Salt Lake City shell. Charles - in his matching bermuda shorts ensembles - strolling the Las Ramblas in the wee hours, accompanied by hundreds of his newest fans. Bird barely able to move at times because of his chronic back problems. The incredibly warm reception in an exhibition game for Magic, who months earlier was diagnosed with HIV, and whose presence in the Games was not welcomed by all.
I could go on and on ... and will. I'll be writing extensively about '92 as the 20-year anniversary approaches. Meantime, I'm looking forward to a sneak peek at Jack McCallum's new book. The longtime Sports Illustrated writer chronicles the summer that none of us will forget. While I'm a little biased here - Jack's a friend - he is also a terrific writer. Should be great stuff.