All right, so it wasn’t exactly twenty years ago today per se, but the current Argentina-Spain-US tournament playing these days brought to mind some of the warmup games in 1992 – at that time, all the Dream Teams kept us enthralled as we imagined the upcoming clashes in Barcelona.
So today another chapter in BallinEurope’s series looking back at ‘92 runs below – just a couple of quickies on qualifying games before the tournament. And Charles Barkley.
• The Dream Team’s first appearance had them opening the Tournament of the Americas in Portland, an Olympic qualifying round (giggle), against Cuba. Team USA ultimately went 6-0 in the tourney, rolling over opponents by an average score of 121-70; it all began with a 136-57 victory over Cuba which ultimately elicited the old Cuban adage “You can’t cover the sun with your finger” from head coach Miguel Calderon Gomez.
• On the other side of the ocean, Europe’s top two teams, Croatia and Lithuania, faced off in the eight-team FIBA European Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Men, from which four from the Continent would join hosts Spain in Barcelona.
Both Croatia and Lithuania topped Team CIS (a.k.a. Team USSR, the Unified Team) in pool play to begin their respective runs to the podium, but in this one Lithuania overcame Drazen Petrovic’s 30 points to win, 99-89.
• And then there were a few days before the Olympics … yes, BiE’s gonna run this one one more time. How much is Sir Charles missed…?