As players on the San Antonio Spurs like Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter, and Patty Mills prepare to honor their country by participating in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, there’s a chance some of them wouldn’t be where they are today if it hadn’t been for the 1992 US Olympic Dream Team.
Tonight, since there isn’t an NBA Finals game, thousands of basketball fans will be ready to watch the exclusive “Dream Team” documentary on NBATV at 8 PM CST. The documentary is a first of its kind because it shows the journey that players like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Charles Barkley, and many more went through to become arguably the greatest basketball team ever assembled 20 years ago.
The Keeping the Score blog of Time Magazine caught up with the director of the movie and was able to produce an excellent interview. In the interview, director Dion Cocoros discusses why a lot of today’s national players like Ginobili and Parker eventually made their way into the NBA.
The players from around the world that are stars in the NBA now, they were kids when the Dream Team was playing. Barkley says that guys like [Manu] Ginobili and [Tony] Parker and Dirk [Nowitzki] tell him all the time that their love of basketball started with the Dream Team. I think the legacy is being the greatest team ever but also opening the door for so many international players to play the game at such a high level.
What’s even more remarkable in my opinion is how much basketball has shifted globally. Ginobili and Argentina claimed the Gold Medal in 2004 by upsetting Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson’s squad. Even in 2008, Kobe Bryant had to take over in the fourth quarter as Pau Gasol, Marc Gasol, Rudy Fernandez, and Ricky Rubio almost won the Gold as well.
It’s no longer the case where the Americans go into an Olympic game and the other team is in awe of them. A lot of these other international teams today can have anywhere from 3-6 NBA players on their roster. One thing is for sure, when the 2012 games begin, global dominance in basketball will be fought for by each of the contending countries.