To borrow a line from the Beatles, it was 20 years ago [this year] when a band of what arguably could be called the greatest basketball team ever began to play. The team took the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona by storm, winning by an average of almost 43 points per game en route to the gold.
The roster: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Chris Mullen, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Clyde Drexler and Christian Laettner. The head coach was Chuck Daly and his assistants included Mike Krzyzewski and Lenny Wilkens.
Although the 2012 USA Basketball squad has not been finalized, it is expected to include LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose. Mike Krzyzewski will be the head coach.
In anticipation of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, USA Basketball is planning a nationwide tour that not only will honor the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team, but “get people energized” for both the men’s and women’s teams competing this summer.
MetroPCS Communications, an official partner of USA Basketball, has taken the title sponsor role in the “USA Basketball Dream Tour.” The tour is scheduled to launch in Orlando on Jan. 20, and make stops in 15 cities over the next seven months. Specific sites have yet to be disclosed.
“Our USA Basketball Dream Tour will bring unforgettable experiences to our customers across the nation,” Tom Keys, president and COO of MetroPCS, said in a statement. “Our hope is that this tour will get people across the country even more energized to cheer on the USA Basketball men’s and women’s national teams when they compete this summer.”
MetroPCS said that a purple- and orange-clad mobile basketball court would travel coast-to-coast, visiting cities twice along the way. In each market, people will have the chance to go “head-to-head with friends on the court as well as in mobile phone games and basketball trivia presented on Samsung phones.”
USA Basketball team legends are expected to appear at each tour stop to take photographs and sign autographs. To date, Chris Mullin has been the only member of the 1992 Dream Team confirmed to make a personal appearance, but others are expected to join in as the tour progresses.
MetroPCS will provide updates at a dedicated Web site.
According to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, “The MetroPCS USA Basketball Dream Tour will provide a great way for fans to connect with some of USA Basketball’s legends and show their support for the 2012 USA teams as this summer approaches. As our men’s and women’s national teams compete on the world stage this summer, we’re looking forward to having enthusiastic fans following the teams.”
The USA Basketball Dream Tour dates (subject to change):
• Orlando: Jan. 20, 2012; Feb. 24, 2012
• Tampa: Jan. 27, 2012; May 25, 2012
• Miami: Feb. 3, 2012; May 18, 2012
• Jacksonville: Feb. 10, 2012; May 11, 2012
• Atlanta: Feb.17, 2012; June 1, 2012
• Los Angeles: March 2, 2012; June 29, 2012
• Sacramento: March 9, 2012; June 22, 2012
• San Francisco: March 16, 2012; June 15, 2012
• Grand Rapids: March 23, 2012; June 8, 2012
• Detroit: March 30, 2012; July 20, 2012
• Boston: April 6, 2012; July 27, 2012
• New York: April 13, 2012; Aug. 3, 2012
• Philadelphia: Apr. 20, 2012; Aug. 14, 2012
• Dallas: April 27, 2012; Aug. 17, 2012
• Las Vegas: July 6, 2012; July 13, 2012
Source: MetroPCS/USA Basketball
PHOTO: Aaron M. Sprecher/Icon SMI