I know there's a lot of hate towards NBA players and their chicken legs here but this team has got to be the most dominant ever assembled in all of professional sports. They're so good, players on the opposing bench take pictures of them while they whoop their ass.
I suppose, but you also have to remember how different a time it was. Players from the other countries only rarely came over to play in the NBA(be it due to skill or restrictions back home). And they *never* saw these guys at any international competitions. While the other countries could send their professionals(yes, 1992 was not the first time pros played in the Olympics), the NBA players did not suit up for the US.
In a lot of ways, putting the NBA players in there was a good move for the other countries. Sure they got pasted early on, but just like the days of the college kids, the rest of the world saw what the level was they needed to get to, and have gotten themselves to the point where it's almost not an upset when the US loses an international competition. And look how many non-Americans dot NBA rosters these days.
The lower level of play of international teams may diminish what they accomplished but it could also add to their greatness. You could say that they played against "lesser" opponents but they were also "greater" to begin with if you get what I mean.
Well you had everything come together at the right moment. You had Jordan in his prime, Bird and Johnson weren't quite what they were but a step down from their top-level is still Hall of Fame material. The only guy left off who should have been on was Thomas. Coupled with the fact that it was a sport that the US had only lost once at the Olympics with their college kids. 72 was a sham so I don't consider it a loss, although it was telling the Soviets could play with them. 88 may have been a different story with a coach who knew you should put a guy like Sean Elliott on the team rather than constructing a team you think will only allow 6 points a game but only score 10 yourself. But I digress. And then you had opponents that had no idea just how good the NBA players were.
It is a little like Canada in hockey. We get criticized at times because "only 15 countries play it." Rarely won Olympics/World championships, because our best couldn't go even though theirs did, but when we iced our best, we won a lot more than we lost. But between the nature of the sport(basketball is easier to dominate), and the fact the pool was deeper in the other countries, no Canadian hockey team in the last 25 years has been *that* dominant. At least not at the top level.
But I also have a hard time imagining a team with West, Russell, Chamberlain, Abdul-Jabbar, Bryant, fill out your roster with whomever beating *that* team.
Well that is a bit of a loaded statement because they were all HoFers(except maybe Robinson and Pippen) at that point. Robinson was the only guy (besides Laettner-who as you say was chosen due to PR reasons over basketball reasons) who hadn't been in the league since 87, and Pippen was the only one of them. 9 of them were actually approaching the backside of their careers by that point. You basically had to be just waiting your time to be inducted to even be considered for that team.
I thought it was said in the film that the execs were not going to include Thomas for Jordan not Jordan specifically saying no.
Yeah they said he straight-up lied when he said he didn't ask them not to include Thomas back then. I was surprised too, I always thought Jordan was a real good guy but apparently he really hated Isiah Thomas.
It also cracked me up when they talked about completely shutting down that Croatian player, Kukoc? Over a contract with the Bulls. Jordan told Pippen "just leave him to me" & the poor guy only scored like 4 points.