Which basketball players have been in the Olympics since the first Dream Team? Who was on the last all-collegiate team?
The last all-collegiate basketball team to represent the United States had some solid players, and some players who never really had a great NBA career.
The 1988 team was led Kansas superstar Danny Manning, fresh off an NCAA title and the No. 1 selection in the NBA Draft. It also included a future Hall of Famer in David Robinson, who was a year removed from his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. Central Michigans Dan Majerle was actually the leading scorer for the team which lost a single game in the tournament a semifinal against the Soviet Union. Kansas States Mitch Richmond led the team in assists.
Other members of the bronze-medal winning team were Willie Anderson (Georgia), Stacey Augmon (UNLV), Vernell Coles (Virginia Tech), Jeff Grayer (Iowa State), Hersey Hawkins (Bradley), J.R. Reid (North Carolina), Charles Smith (Pittsburgh) and the other Charles Smith (Georgetown).
The American dominance of the Olympics returned with the famous 1992 Dream Team whose roster included 11 Hall of Famers: Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, Robinson, John Stockton and Christian Laettner.
The 1996 team included many holdovers since 1992. It is sometimes referred to as Dream Team II, but in reality that moniker had already been assigned to the 1994 FIBA World Championship team, which has been generally forgotten.
On the 1996 squad Robinson made his third straight appearance, joined by his 88 teammate Richmond. Barkley, Malone, Pippen and Stockton returned. They were joined by All-Stars Anfernee Hardaway, Grant Hill, Reggie Miller, new-citizen Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaq ONeal and Gary Payton. All but Hardaway, Hill and Richmond are in or are likely to be in the HOF. Jordan, the leagues MVP, didnt come back for his third trip. He was also on the 1984 team.
The 2000 team was a considerable step down with Payton as the lone holdover. The rest of the squad was: Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Ray Allen, Vin Baker, Vince Carter, Kevin Garnett, Tim Hardaway, Allan Houston, Jason Kidd, Antonio McDyess, Alonzo Mourning and Steve Smith. Payton, Allen, Garnett and Kidd are the only likely HOF players on that team.
The 2004 team the first with pros to lose an Olympic game was made of players having just entered the NBA. There were no holdovers from 2000. Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade played after their rookie seasons, joined by Carlos Boozer, Tim Duncan, Richard Jefferson, Stephon Marbury, Lamar Odom and Amare Stoudemire. Emeka Okafor hadnt even played an NBA game before making his Olympic debut on a team that lost three games, but won the bronze medal at the tournament. HOF players? Iverson, Duncan and James for sure. Wade and Anthony look like good bets.
The 2008 team was lauded for its focus on the gold medal, but the vast improvement from 04 came from the development of holdovers Wade, James and Anthony and the addition of superstars Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard. Boozer also returned from 04, joined by Chris Bosh, Kidd, Chris Paul, Tayshaun Prince, Michael Redd and Deron Williams. Well say Bryant, Kidd and James are locks for HOF status, with Anthony, Paul and Wade in good shape so far to join them.
Who was on that 1994 World Championship team? Future Olympians Majerle, Miller, Mourning, ONeal were joined by Derrick Coleman, Joe Dumars, Kevin Johnson, Larry Johnson, Shawn Kemp, Mark Price, Steve Smith and Dominique Wilkins. Tim Hardaway and Isiah Thomas were selected, but did not play due to injuries. Five of those players were or will be HOFers.