During the summer of 1992, a group of 12 American basketball players set off to win an Olympic gold medal in Barcelona, Spain. Only this particular group competing as the 1992 U.S. Men's Basketball team was special. Dubbed the "Dream Team," they represented the first American Olympic squad to feature active professional NBA players and proved to be unstoppable. Described by many American journalists as the greatest sports team ever assembled and called "the greatest collection of basketball talent on the planet" by the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, the unbeatable
bunch annihilated each opponent by an average of almost 44 points per game in capturing the gold medal.
They defeated Croatia in the championship game by the score of 117-85, close by their standards. The Dream Team blew out earlier opponents by the following margins: Angola (68 points); Croatia (the first time, 33); Germany (43); Brazil (44); Spain (41); Puerto Rico (38); and Lithuania (51). Led by Co-captains Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, the team was coached by longtime Detroit Pistons head coach Chuck Daly who was assisted by fellow NBA coaches Lenny Wilkens and P.J. Carlesimo along with Duke's legendary "Coach K," Mike Krzyzewski. Every player on the squad brought impeccable credentials to the table including Magic, Bird, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Clyde Drexler, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen and David Robinson. The 12th and final player was the reigning NCAA Player of the Year out of Duke, Christian Laettner.
This lot features a prized basketball signed by each of the aforementioned coaches and players. A Spalding Top Flight 100 basketball, it is stamped "Tournament of the Americas" (now called FIBA
Americas Championship), a pre-Olympic tune-up June 27 - July 5 in Portland, Oregon to decide the four Olympic berths from the Americas. It was the international debut of the Dream Team, making this ball one of the earliest Dream Team signed balls ever to surface. Christian Laettner's name is engraved in gold on the ball as it was presented to him as his very own souvenir. Each of the 16 coaches and players signed it in a bold black marker (9/10 in our book) and the following four players added their U.S. Men's Basketball Team uniform numbers: Laettner #4; Drexler #10; Malone #11; and Mullin #13. This is truly a unique multi-signed basketball as it includes the autographs of 11 Naismith Hall of Fame players and three Hall of Fame coaches. As far as Dream Team balls go, it is certainly up there as one of the finest examples ever offered.
Full LOA from PSA/DNA. LOA from Laettner.