How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the greatest team of all time conquered the world and changed the game of basketball forever.
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.
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 importantly - 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 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 20 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 recreates 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.
©2012 Jack McCallum (P)2012 Tantor
"Great [listening] for NBA fans. High-demand backstory." (Booklist)
Long distance commuter who loves audio books. After an hour drive, I sometimes struggle to leave the car because the book is THAT GOOD!
Entertaining, enlightening and nostalgic
My favorite character is Michael Jordan. I've been a fan for years. Dream Team gives a great insight into Jordan's dynamics with the other team members. I loved the rivalry between Jordan and Drexler.
Dick Hill does a great job of sharing his enthusiasm for the team and the story. His emotion makes you feel like you were an invited attendee to the "secret scrimmage".
The Dream Team created a great sense of nostalgia for me. Having grown up loving and playing basketball during the golden age of the NBA, I felt a connection to the players immediately. I often found myself saying out loud, "I remember that!", or "Oh, I totally forgot about that". The story itself kept me captivated. Because the narrator easily conveys his enthusiasm for the team, I made an instant connection with him as well. A favorite moment in the story is when Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan set out to humiliate Toni Kukoc, a member of the Croatian team and newly signed and highly paid Bull. Their stifling defense shuts down the Croatian star and is a clinic on great defensive play. It also illustrates a great life lesson, don't steal money from a man's pocket, even if it is only potential money.
The Dream Team does a superb job of setting the goal to help the reader/listener identify with each player. Even the often less interesting David Robinson has a great section of the story that left me routing for him both on the court and in life. I finished the book feeling like I had a better understanding of each players motivations and a renewed appreciation for Chuck Daly's leadership. This begs the point that the Dream Team transcends being just an entertaining history of the best team ever assembled by being a great book on leading a group of superstars and high achievers in any field.
The Big Jimboski
As a basketball fan, a David Robinson super fan and a teen of the 90's this book was right up my alley. It was great hearing all the great stories about the players who molded the NBA through the 80's & 90's. Great insight all how all those players talk and think about each other, these same players who would battle while on the team and for another 5-10 years after. This is a must listen for all basketball lovers.
The practice game between Michael Jordan's team and Magic Johnson's. It is a game of who's the best. While the sports fan will argue what is the greatest basketball game all time, the greatest I believe is probably the one that was watched by very few.
The story of the game and mini bio's of all the Dream Team players.
Dick Hill has to be one of the greatest narrator's I have ever listen to. Every book I have listened to by Dick Hill has brought a overpowering impression of intensity and wonderful play by play of the "Greatest Game". The whole time I am thinking, Jack McCallum is the luckiest man alive!!!!
Enjoy mostly non fiction and the occasional thriller.
Although there were a few interesting tidbits I did not know, there were not enough to keep me thoroughly entertained. Would have to say "skip it" unless you are huge fan of these players.
Yes, Mr. Hill is excellent as the narrator.
Killing Kennedy, both audio books have tremendous narrators and give a more personal perspective of the subjects.
He sounds like a reporter; his voice almost perfectly takes the character of McCallum's writing.
I laughed a lot.
I grew up in Illinois during the 90's, obsessed with MJ. After listening to this book, Lard Bird has become my favorite player. I was excited anytime Larry became the focus of the book.
The insights, frankly and fairly told, were fascinating. Dick Hill did a great job.
This was a unique look into a great American sport that has gone through many changes in the past 3 decades. Jack McCallum gave understanding and depth to the conversation about what makes sports, and those who play them, truly great - verses just talented and famous.
I think this would be enjoyable for anyone to listen to, but if you are a sports fan, and particularly if you are a basketball fan, it's a treasure of information, insight, and validation of the love you feel for the sport. I'm looking forward to listening to it again some time in the near future to enjoy the stories and re-reflect on the ideas.
74 y o avid reader using either my eyes or ears. I make earrings that I donate to shelters and while I work, I listen to wonderful books
Wonderful review of the greatest team in --- forever. The ins, the outs and everything in between. Great personalities with enormous egos all portrayed with great writing.
This book is not so much about the US Dream Team as much as it is about a golden age of hoops. McCallum does a good job profiling the personalities of the team and what made the players legends. He also goes into the behind the scenes working (and ego) that went into picking the team and how the players interacted with each other on and off the court. The book has a behind the scenes feel that does not feel gossipy or tabloidy. The only thing this book was lacking was tactics and real good summaries of the games but I was glad that was not in this book because it would have really weighed down the narrative.
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