Saturday, October 27, 2012

"Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever" by Jack McCallum

352 pages

The basics of the story are well known. It was 1992, the first year that professional basketball players were allowed to play in the Olympics. NBA superstars including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Charles Barkley made up the US team that took the world by storm. What's not as well known, however, is what went on behind the scenes. The team bonding and the power struggles and the fighting. The drama surrounding the selection process. The way that all of the players learned to join with their rivals and take on the rest of the world. Drawing on records from 1992 as well as fresh interviews with the players, McCallum provides an insider's account of the Dream Team phenomenon. 

I was only seven years old when the first Dream Team took to the court, but I remember being totally in awe. At the time I just liked watching all their exciting, flashy plays, but as an adult I've enjoyed hearing more of the inside scoop on what was really going on. McCallum was in the thick of it back then and still has access to the players today, so he provides a very well-rounded account. I also think he's quite fair to all the players without glossing over their flaws. He throws quite a bit of humor into the mix, making the book even more fun. I say it's a solid must-read for NBA fans.  

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