Last week, the new Dream Team book by Jack McCallum was released and I immediately got my hands on it. In fact, I actually pre-ordered it weeks prior and didn’t receive it until a couple days after its release.
When I first opened it up, I was ready to dive into a world of memories that I never really had. And now one week later, I’m glad I was part of the ride.
You see, I was only six when the Dream Team became a reality. I didn’t know much about basketball but as the years went by, I understood the importance of this team. My first memory of this team was the puzzle poster that my mom helped me construct. I still have that poster in my room and it’s one of those things that I will never ever want to get rid of.
Part of my desire to read this book is because I am a sports historian so reading up on something like this is right up my alley. Basketball was my first love of sports and the fact that the Dream Team almost seem like a myth to me makes it so much more unique. And I am so glad this book recaptured all of that for me.
This book isn’t a statistical sheet that will give you every box score from the Olympic games. In fact, the games themselves were barely touched on. Instead, the stories of how this team was assembled and how they became a team is what makes this book great.
There are little nuggets about each player on the team and how they were chosen. The book details about Michael Jordan’s beef with Isiah Thomas along with the ongoing friendship of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
What makes this book such a great read was that it offered us a part of the Dream Team we never knew about. “The Best Game Nobody Ever Saw” is probably the best chapter of the book. It is a detailed account of a 5-on-5 matchup between the players on the team. No cameras, no crowds, just pure basketball. And I must say that just reading the details of how it all went down gives this Dream Team some kind of aura that we’ll never see again.
Maybe I’m too nostalgic but after reading this, it confirms to me that this is the greatest team ever assembled in the history of sport. Not only did this team feature 11 Hall of Famers, but in the big picture, there is no other team that can compare to how perfect this one was. The impact of their game along with the individual experiences make this such a magical journey.
And honestly, a part of me felt like I was there with Jack McCallum the entire time during that summer of 1992. This book paints a great picture of that team and reminds us of the reality of a dream come true.