My name is Shawn. I live in Phoenix AZ with my beautiful wife Nicole and daughters Emolyn and Elsie. With this blog I hope to show you my joys of music, guitars, anything that you can plug a guitar into, tattoos, driving, TV, Apple Computers, magazines, non-fiction literature, websites, shoes, hats and lists that should show you how diverse and cool I am.
What stories does this picture tell?
Look at these Hall of Famers (and Laettner). They’re arranged in this photo to perfectly represent what they brought to the 1992 Dream Team; the greatest team of all time as far as I’m concerned. It’s also a microcosm for what was to come with Jordan and the rest.
In the middle we have tough-guy coach Chuck Daly, the Piston coach for the bad boy teams, and possibly the only individual that could have kept all the egos under wraps long enough for this American team to destroy every country.
He’s flanked by the other Chuck and MJ, possibly the best players in the league at that point. The next year they would face off in the NBA Finals.
In front of both Chucks and MJ is the triumvirate of superstars in their primes, but shrouded by the presence of Jordan and then Olajuwon. Clyde Drexler had his shot for a title in 1992, the year this was taken, but lost in 6 games (we all remember the shrugging MJ after hitting 6 first half 3-pointers in game 2). Drexler teamed with Olajuwon in ‘94 and finally won a ring, but it was Dream’s ring, just like Dr. J’s ring in ‘83 is actually Moses’ ring.
John Stockton has the most career assists and steals EVER. He does not have a title. Scottie is Jordan’s Robin, and always will be after blowing his chances with Houston and Portland after Jordan retired the second time.
Standing next to MJ is the veteran Bird with just enough left in his achy body to make it through the Olympic games and retire the next year. He didn’t even think he would be on the team or could handle being on the team. Mullin is the same way, and never fully realized his lethal potential for a championship caliber team on those run and gun Nellie Golden State squads in the late 80’s and early 90’s (with Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond etc).
Plus there is a perfect symmetry to the Caucasians in this photo (except Laettner).
In the row directly behind we have Malone and the aforementioned Laettner. I’m not sure why Malone is off-center here, but his Jazz teams never went to the Finals until the watered-down league in the late 90’s came to fruition. It didn’t matter as Jordan stopped him and Stockton in his final two years with the Bulls.
Now look at the back row. There’s the menacing Ewing; all business and scary like those New York teams were. He’s an enforcer and a superstar, and I would not want to battle him on the low block. Ultimately, it would never be enough against Dream or Jordan.
Then there’s the aw-shucks David Robinson out of the Naval Academy. He would once drop 73 points on the final day of the regular season to take the scoring title away from Shaquille O’Neal, and he would win an MVP award. But even with the suddenly extroverted Dennis Rodman to rebound and bring some toughness to the San Antonio defense, Robinson would never win a title as “the man.” Some say he was too nice. Robinson would have to wait until the strike-shortened season of 1999 with rookie Tim Duncan before he could defeat the Patrick-Ewing-less New York Knicks in the finals (and spawn Simmons’ Ewing theory).
Then there’s Magic. Fresh off his NBA All-Star game MVP, and coming to terms with his HIV. These Olympic games are his last chance to shine, and as the center of the photo he is their leader on the court.
Then there is Christian Laettner. Spatially he seems off, and pigment-wise too as I mentioned. He seems withdrawn in the picture, like he’s further back and under-exposed compared to the rest of the teammates. No one remembers he was even on this team straight out of his storied Duke career. You can tell in the picture he doesn’t belong with these behemoths of the NBA.
A picture tells a thousand stories or so the cliche goes.
What are yours from that fabled summer of 1992?The NBA Dribbled Out