Michael Jordan’s Ultra Competitive Drive Led Him to Join the 1992 Olympic Dream Team: ‘That to Me Was Why I Played’

Michael Jordan played a massive part in helping put together the 1992 Olympic Dream Team. Jordan’s involvement led to the formation of the greatest group of talent for Team USA men’s basketball team. However, the former Chicago Bulls great held another motivating factor that led to him being part of the unique experience.

Michael Jordan’s 1992 Dream Team experience

Jordan headlined the star-studded 1992 Olympic Dream Team that dominated on its way to winning the gold medal.

The stacked roster averaged 118.9 points per game and never scored less than 100 points in any contest. Team USA won eight games by an average of 43.8 points per contest, including a dominating 117-85 win in the gold medal game against Croatia.

Jordan was the second-leading scorer behind Charles Barkley, averaging 14.9 points on 45.1% shooting with 4.8 assists and 4.1 steals per contest. Beyond wanting to get USA back on top with a gold medal, he had another motivating factor to play for the Dream Team.

Michael Jordan’s ultra competitive drive led him to join the 1992 Olympic Dream Team: ‘That to me was why I played’

The formation of the Dream Team largely hinged on Jordan’s commitment to play in the 1992 Olympics.

Although Magic Johnson and Larry Bird played pivotal parts in convincing the former Bulls great to join the team, his decision included other motivating factors. In Paramount Plus documentary entitle Dream Team: The Birth of the Modern Athlete, Jordan revealed the opportunity to play with some of the league’s best players allowed him to take first-hand mental notes on his colleagues.

“I never had the chance to see how these other All-Stars prepare themselves for a game or practice,” Jordan said. “Or compete against them in practice each and every day [to see] what was their desire, their hunger, what drove them to eat, what drove them to play. That to me was why I played for the 1992 Olympic Dream Team.”

It marked the first time Jordan saw firsthand how many of the game’s other greatest talents approached the game of basketball. He gathered invaluable information that allowed him to take his game to greater heights and game plan more efficiently against the 10 other Hall of Famers.

Beyond gaining greater respect and a stronger bond, he made the most of learning more about his colleagues. He used the unique experience to pick the brains of some of the game’s best players while seeing what internally drives them.

Aside from earning a gold medal representing Team USA, Jordan gathered much more valuable knowledge from being around his Dream Team teammates.

Further fueled internal fire to compete for NBA championships


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After Jordan played with the 1992 Dream Team, he ventured forward toward his quest to capture a third straight NBA title.

Jordan’s internal drive kicked up a notch after competing alongside 10 other Hall of Fame talents. The experience provided an extra motivating factor to topple close friend Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals.

He might have stepped away from the game for nearly two years, but he dominated the league with four more NBA titles in his final five seasons he played with the Bulls. Jordan only further strengthened his resume and cemented himself as arguably the greatest player in league history.

His time with the Dream Team helped his NBA career in more ways than he thought. It pushed him to bring more out of himself and his teammates to guide the franchise to more championship success.

In other words, Jordan only built on his foundation for what drove him to tremendous heights through the rest of his Bulls’ career.

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