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The 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team, also known as the Dream Team, is arguably the best sports team ever assembled.
A group of 12 of the NBA’s best pros gathered together to take on competition in Barcelona during the summer of 1992 and emerged with the gold medal after winning their eight games by an average of 43.75 points.
The players were at various levels in their NBA careers at the time. Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird had played his last NBA game. Duke forward Christian Laettner hadn’t started his yet. And Michael Jordan was approaching the end of the first three-peat of NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls.
Career Earnings: $93,772,500 (Spotrac)
Career Stats: 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG, 2.3 SPG
Net Worth: $2.1 billion (Forbes)
The man who authored some of the game’s most iconic individual moments in NBA history retired as the game’s leading scorer and its best player.
Debate reigns eternally over whether Jordan or LeBron James owns the GOAT title today, but Jordan’s Bulls laid waste to the competition in the 1990s, winning the title every season in which Jordan was there from beginning to end.
Jordan finished his career with six NBA championships, and five of them occurred against Dream Team teammates. The lone exception was the 1995-96 Seattle SuperSonics.
Career Earnings: $39,342,860 (Spotrac)
Career Stats: 19.5 PPG, 11.2 APG, 7.2 RPG, 1.9 SPG
Net Worth: Johnson’s net worth is not publicly known, but his investment conglomerate, Magic Johnson Enterprises, has a $1 billion value, per its website.
One of the most decorated basketball players in the sport’s history led his collegiate team (Michigan State) to the 1979 NCAA championship before leading his NBA team (the Los Angeles Lakers) to the NBA title during his 1979-80 rookie year.
Johnson won five NBA titles in his career, but the first may have been the most impressive. Facing the Philadelphia 76ers without big man Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals, the 6’9″ Johnson was forced to move from point guard to center.
That stunning move ended up working, as Magic dropped 42 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists and three steals in 47 minutes in a 123-107 road win. It remains one of the best single-game performances in the sport’s history.
Career Earnings: $24,070,000 (Spotrac)
Career Stats: 24.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 6.3 APG, 1.7 SPG
The three-time NBA champion and back-to-back-to-back NBA MVP played 13 NBA seasons, all with the Boston Celtics. The C’s had fallen on hard times before Bird’s arrival in 1979, missing the playoffs in three consecutive seasons following a championship win in 1976.
But Bird immediately turned the team around upon his arrival, guiding the C’s to a 61-21 record in 1979-80. They lost to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers in the Eastern Conference Finals but won it all one year later.
Career Earnings: $118,223,608 (Spotrac)
Career Stats: 21.0 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 1.0 SPG
One of the most decorated men’s college basketball athletes of all time arrived in New York with massive expectations in 1985 after being drafted first overall.
Ewing excelled at Madison Square Garden, helping the Knicks reach two NBA Finals. But the Knicks suffered the unlucky fortune of being in the same conference as Jordan’s Bulls, who took them out of the postseason five times from 1989 to 1996.
Still, the big man delivered for the Knicks, becoming a near-unstoppable force down low.
Career Earnings: $40,301,000 (Spotrac)
Career Stats: 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.9 APG, 1.5 SPG
The Round Mound of Rebound was a stat-stuffing machine who did his best work with the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns, winning the NBA MVP award and taking his team to the NBA Finals, where they lost to Jordan’s Bulls.
That Suns team was arguably the Bulls’ toughest opponent during the 1990s Chicago dynasty: Phoenix finished a league-best 62-20 and nearly pushed the NBA Finals to seven games before John Paxson’s clutch jumper with seconds left helped seal its fate.
Barkley was a double-double machine throughout his career, which primarily occurred with the Suns and 76ers. He made 11 All-Star teams and 11 All-Pro teams during his career.
Career Earnings: $31,147,000 (Basketball Reference)
Career Stats: 20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG, 2.0 SPG
Clyde “The Glyde” Drexler enjoyed a decorated collegiate and pro career that started with the “Phi Slamma Jamma” University of Houston teams and continued into the NBA, first as the alpha for the Portland Trail Blazers and then in a supporting role on Hakeem Olajuwon’s Houston Rockets.
Drexler led Portland to two Western Conference titles in 1990 and 1992, but they ran into two buzzsaw dynasties in the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons and Jordan’s Bulls.
He never won a title in Portland but did so twice with ex-Cougar teammate Olajuwon in 1995, serving as the team’s secondary scorer behind the big man.
Career Earnings: $110,708,513 (Spotrac)
Career Stats: 21.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.0 BPG, 1.4 SPG
The Admiral’s career was a play in two acts. First, he served as the San Antonio Spurs’ superstar for much of the 1990s, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds with ease every night.
Second, he served as the wingman to superstar power forward Tim Duncan, who then led the Spurs to NBA titles in 1999 and 2003.
The 1993-94 scoring title winner retired on top following the second championship, capping a stellar career.
Career Earnings: $109,957,430 (Spotrac)
Career Stats: 16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG, 2.0 SPG
Net Worth: $30 million to $50 million (Newsweek)
The best wingman in NBA history won six titles with the Bulls, but his work with the 1993-94 team sans a retired Jordan explains why he’s one of the game’s greats.
Even without MJ, the Bulls went 55-27, with Pippen posting 22.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 2.9 steals in 38.3 minutes per game. He made the All-NBA First Team and led Chicago to the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where the Bulls lost to the Knicks in a closely contested seven-game series.
Career Earnings: $67,753,000 (Basketball Reference)
Career Stats: 13.1 PPG, 10.5 APG, 2.7 RPG, 2.2 SPG
The NBA’s all-time leader in assists and steals was a thorn in opponents’ sides on both ends for nearly two decades, all with the Jazz.
He and teammate Karl Malone helped the Jazz navigate a tough Western Conference in the 1980s and 1990s that featured a bevy of talent including Johnson’s Lakers, Drexler’s Blazers and Olajuwon’s Rockets. The Jazz more than held their own as perennial playoff contenders.
Career Earnings: $104,133,378 (Spotrac)
Career Stats: 25.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.4 SPG
Karl “The Mailman” Malone was a menace down low who averaged 25 points per night. He and Stockton led the Jazz to back-to-back Western Conference titles in 1997 and 1998. Unfortunately, the Jazz ran into Jordan’s Bulls both years and lost the NBA Finals in six games each time.
Still, Malone left the game as one of the unquestioned top 10 bigs of all time.
Career Earnings: $40,424,600 (Basketball Reference)
Career Stats: 18.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.5 APG, 1.6 SPG
Chris Mullin made a name for himself as one-third of the “Run TMC” Golden State Warriors with Tim Hardaway and Mitch Richmond, creating a dynamic offensive team under head coach Don Nelson.
He also enjoyed a second act on ex-Dream Team teammate Larry Bird’s Indiana Pacers en route to three straight Eastern Conference Finals appearances (and one win) from 1998 to 2000.
The sweet-shooting Mullin was also a star at St. John’s in Queens, New York, leading his team to the 1985 Final Four, where they lost to Ewing’s Georgetown Hoyas.
Career Earnings: $61,485,000 (Basketball Reference)
Career Stats: 12.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 2.6 APG, 1.1 SPG
Christian Laettner was the game’s best college basketball player in the early 1990s and stands as one of the most accomplished of all time. He led Duke to three straight national titles, winning the final two.
Laettner didn’t enjoy the same success in the pros but carved out a more-than-respectable career for over a decade from the power forward spot.