dream team | 30 Years of “The Greatest Game No One Has Seen”

Michael Jordan Official. Of all the prestigious matches he has participated in during his glorious career, including 179 in the qualifiers, this training behind closed doors in Monte Carlo is the most memorable!

It’s July 22, 1992. The US basketball team has arrived in the Old Continent to prepare for the Barcelona Olympics, which will mark the return of professional players to the business world.

In this case, it will be the legendary adventure of the “Dream Team”, the wonderful trio of Jordan – Magic – Bird who will revolutionize world basketball at the end of a masterful tournament in Barcelona.

“Ten undisputed Hall of Famers playing against each other”

It’s the best game I’ve ever played‘, confirms without hesitation. Because there was no training. There was a bit of judging…but not really [sourire] ! There were ten Hall of Famers playing against each other. How many times has this happened? And when I say, ten Hall of Famers, we’re talking about the indisputable Hall of Famers. There was such competition, with all that is nice about basketball including trash talk. All of these were in this game. It’s exactly what you imagine when you think of a match that brings together the best players in the Hall of Fame. »

From his position as assistant coach PJ Carlissimo confirms that this training camp in Monaco was exceptional. The rivalry between Jordan and Magic was at its peak. But it is the judging style, FIBA, that will quickly become problematic.

I warned Chuck [Daly] Before the tournament that refereeing will definitely be very badPJ Carlesimo laughs at SiriusXM. Because there were rulers from all over the world, with different levels of performance. And then, in addition, these referees never met the NBA players, so fast and strong. So I advised to bring some international referees to Monte Carlo to train us so that the players get used to the different whistles. We found Italian and French, but from second practice Chuck told me we had to get rid of them. Mike K laughed at me: “Good idea!” »

As Michael Jordan suggested, the intensity of the matches that came to complete the training sessions was limited to madness. PJ Carlissimo recalls that the duel between Jordan and Magic, who were still fighting for supremacy in the NBA (while Larry Bird had his back in a compote at his side), was the driving force behind these (almost) bloody confrontations.

We came close to fighting bare-handed a few times with the international referees. And the matches went on…because when you got to the end of the game, it was impossible to shoot less than five meters from the circle. The men pushed the attacker with both hands, then found himself violently lying on the ground. »

And poor international referees are the scapegoats for these NBA superstars with their arrogance seething.

The guys were yelling at them and there was such intensity in the games. When we got close to the end, we had better take a shot from medium range. Because every young man who tried penetration found himself on the buttocks! Men were constantly harassing those rulers who did not understand them. We let them go on the second or third day. After that, I had to run the matches myself. Magic called me a favor because I was golfing with Michael after practice in Monte Carlo. Rod Thorne, Chuck, Barkley, Michael We’ve all been playing golf at Monte Carlo. Every time I whistled for Michael’s team, it was a scandal. And like stocks[ton] Wounded, Michael was playing a guard! Face magic! You can imagine what they were saying to each other. And the closer to the end of the match, the more tense it became. These two were tearing each other down on the field. We were just trying to keep everything under control. Chuck once had to stop it all: Enough, everybody out! »

“If we tell them something, it is better to be confident in yourself!”

Two days after being fired, European zebras can congratulate themselves anyway for having been such a part of basketball history. For his part, PJ Carlesimo also struggled with having to whistle those five for five.

Because, for the rest, the “dream team” has developed, so to speak, in self-sufficiency. You don’t really need a coaching staff when you have the biggest basketball stars in the world!

I have to say I didn’t get much of a teaching job to talk to them. Scouting was one of the areas I was entrusted with. With an assistant from the Pistons, we went to the NBC studios to use their equipment and make VHS videos. In the next day’s shootout, we gave that to the players and they looked at them! I remember in Portland, I told the Magic that one of the Panama appearances wasn’t a good shooter from a distance. The magic gave him space and he threw two three-pointers in a row. At that time, Magic came to me: “So coach, I thought he couldn’t shoot!” These guys were listening. If we tell them something, we’d better make sure of ourselves! »

Motivated by Magic Johnson, their brave leader, and outraged to win Michael Jordan, their true boss, American superstars flew above the competition. Not a single team will come close to their level. As for this famous “brawl” of Monte Carlo, it is clear that Michael Jordan is the biggest winner (with his team). The back of the Bulls will determine 17 of his team’s 40 points which will make the retarded game.

Relegated to -9 at the start of the match, Jordan’s “white” finally won the match 40-36, behind a fatal 17-4 for the team led by Magic who would not physically stand up against the then-super-predator Jordan. .

“If someone could record the soundtrack for this game, not necessarily shooting basketball but just getting the votes, that would have been invaluable.”

Pictures of this match are still extremely rare, which continues to solidify the founding legend of the “Dream Team”. In the Jack McCallum Dream Team book (Talent Sport Editions), Coach K. evoked the memory of this legendary match. And more pictures, votes wanted!

Every now and then I do something and a line from that game flashes through my mind: “They moved Chicago to Monaco.” This makes me smile. Many players get angry because there are cameras. But on that day, the doors were closed. It was just you and me. “I have this and you, what do you have?” It taught me a lot about accepting personal challenges. You know, if someone could record the soundtrack for this game, not necessarily shooting basketball but just getting the sounds, that would be invaluable. »

Same impressions from Michael Jordan, more than proud of controlling Magic Johnson, but also of being part of a unique workforce.

In many ways, it was the best game I’ve ever played. Because the room was closed and it was just about basketball. Matches like this say a lot about the players’ genes and their desire to win. Magic tired of him for two days. “.

The “white” team: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing

Blue team: Magic Johnson, Chris Mullen, Christian Latner, Charles Barkley, David Robinson

Read also

Theatrical play from Jack McCallum’s book (Part 1)

“Play” from Jack McCallum’s book (Part 2)

Leave a Comment