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You Tube Gold: The 1984 Olympic Team

One of the best Olympic teams of all time

Michael Jordan, Samuel Perkins, Wayman Tisdale, Alvin Robertson At The 1984 Summer Olympics
 Los Angeles, CA - 1984: (L-R) Michael Jordan, Samuel Perkins, Wayman Tisdale, Alvin Robertson, Men’s Basketball USA vs. Spain, the Forum, at the 1984 Summer Olympics, August 10, 1984.
Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

In 1984, Bob Knight put together one of the last great collegiately based Olympic men’s basketball teams.

He had Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin and Michael Jordan, among others (Johnny Dawkins is introduced here but was cut and became an alternate).

In this clip, they take on a team of 1984 NBA All-Stars. The starters were Mark Aguirre, Larry Bird, Robert Parish, Isaiah Thomas and Jim Paxson.

The Olympic team was in a sense the coming-out party for Jordan. People knew he was good but the Olympics put him on a global platform for the first time and people were stunned.

However, he wasn’t thrilled with Knight’s approach and later said that if he had understood Knight better, he might have skipped the whole business.

This was a truly great team but Knight, who always understood the evils of communism, was denied something he dearly wanted: in 1980, the US boycotted the Moscow games and the Soviets replied in kind in 1984, staying away from the LA games. So as much as he would have relished it, Knight didn’t get a chance to take his powerhouse team up against the USSR.

The US still won gold, though it would only manage bronze in 1988. Four years later the Dream Team went to Barcelona. Reunited on that team: Jordan, Ewing and Mullin.