July 22, 1992 will forever be the date of the “greatest game I’ve ever played” in Michael Jordan’s own words. As the famous Dream Team prepares for the Olympic Games in Barcelona, the team organizes a scrimmage that will mark history forever. We tell you about this completely crazy sequence.
No need to introduce you to the 1992 Dream Team. This team, made up of some of the greatest players in their sport, marked the history of basketball, making many fans dream and popularizing the NBA internationally, crushing the competition in a crazy epic at the Barcelona Olympics. During an internship in Monaco at the end of July 1992 to prepare as well as possible for a competition which they were about to dazzle with their talent, the players took the opportunity to relax quietly while having a good time in the Principality, between restaurants, golf games and outings to the casino.
The mythical Chuck Daly then decides to remobilize his troops by organizing a match that is still talked about, even nearly 30 years later. And the cast is five stars. The two major fives are only made up of Hall of Famers. Never, except during All-Star Games, had we seen such a concentration of talent on a field. In terms of lineups, versions vary. ESPN advances these two formations:
For his part, Michael Jordan evokes a 5 with Pippen, Mullin, Bird and Ewing – Laettner being available as a 6th man but never entered the field because not in his role.
Team Jordan against Team Magic, it is in any case the poster. If he leaves the co-captaincy of Team USA to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the star of the team remains well Michael Jordan. And this game looks like a handover between Jordan and Magic. Although he respects his caddy, the Lakers point guard is not ready to let go of his steak without a fight, and approaches the game as overmotivated as ever.
The match started off with a bang for Magic and his team, who took a 9-point lead. Johnson, voluble at will, will then allow himself to trash-talker Michael Jordan. Serious mistake. ” It doesn’t take much to heat up Michael“, Advance Chris Mullin. ” He takes that head, and you just have to give him the ball and clear“, adds Scottie Pippen. His Airness will then become unplayable. The machine is launched. Jordan takes control of the match and continues to stick a huge run to Magic and his team: 17-4!
The game will then reach a mad intensity, the two teams going blow for blow. If Magic manages to get his team back in the game, he will eventually have to surrender against a sensational Michael Jordan. MJ will evoke this meeting some time later with a statement, also unforgettable:
Michael Jordan : It’s the biggest match I’ve ever played in. No coaches, no real referees and 10 Hall of Famers on the field. When does that happen? The way we played, our intensity, our sweat, the trash-talking, and everything that makes basketball beautiful, it was illustrated in this game. If you take the people in the Hall of Fame and imagine what a game would be like, that’s how basketball should be played.
And like any good myth, the images of this match are rare, the story being lived through the words of the various actors present during this legendary scrimmage. Rare indeed, but not totally non-existent. Because if we have long heard about this story without ever a single image being broadcast, an assistant to Chuck Daly had actually had the good idea to film some sequences of the match. To consume without moderation :
The legendary aspect of this July 22, 1992 does not stop at the floor, since an episode came to close the session in style. Proud to have satisfied his domination, Michael Jordan returned to the locker room after the match and went directly to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, who were discussing. The GOAT stares at them, pulls on his cigar and finally blurts out:
There’s a new sheriff in town.
Magic can only nod.
Between transfer of power and basketball in its supreme form, this scrimmage will long be remembered by those who participated in it. Simply art.