The Dream Team really was an extraordinary gathering of basketball greatness. Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, John Stockton, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Christian Laettner and of course Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Michael Jordan.
One of the great things about watching that group was the camaraderie, the esprit de corps they showed. They knew they were part of something amazing and of course that team caught the world’s imagination and helped to change basketball forever.
It was also the only time Jordan, Bird and Johnson ever played on the same team and in the run-up to the games, in a friendly vs. Cuba, they combined for this amazing play.
Johnson overshot Jordan on a pass, Jordan chased it down near half court and threw a perfect behind-the-back pass to Bird who hit a sweet little jumper.
This was Larry at the end. He never really could jump much but at the end his back problems made it difficult for him to play. We never realized until recently just how much pain he played through at the end of his career. It must have been agonizing.
Even so, he understood that being on this team would allow for moments like this and Bird, like Magic who returned for this opportunity after his AIDS diagnosis forced his retirement, wasn’t going to to miss basketball played at this level.