We've always wanted a Dream Team book. There's never been a better collection of Hall of Fame sports talent in one place at one time, on one court. And the players had personalities to match. And they were in Monte Carlo half the time. And... Yeah, we've always wanted a Dream Team book, even if we didn't know it.
After the jump, three highlights from the prologue to whet your appetite.
1. Karl Malone Doesn't Eat Quail Eggs
I had gotten a restaurant recommendation from a friend—this was before the days of go-on-the-Internet-and-check- out-Zagat—and it was a bad choice. They brought out quail eggs for an appetizer.
"Man, I don’t eat this shit," said Malone, a country boy from Louisiana who never hesitated to remind you of that fact.
"I don’t, either," I protested. "Do I look like a quail egg guy?"
"I don’t know what you white people eat," Malone said, winking at Dupree, also an African American.
2. Journalists Are Fans Too, And Larry Bird's Got Jokes
I couldn’t separate the voices, but there was much clamor and clapping; it suggested Croatia was about to enter a world of pain, which it subsequently did. Suddenly Magic halted the procession so that—I’m mortified even as I write this—Dupree and I could be photographed with the team. It was as if a gang of warriors on the way to battle had been halted to share hors d’oeuvres with Ander- son Cooper. There were several expressions of what-the-hell-are- we-doing? confusion, but the team stopped, Dupree and I slipped into the front row, and NBA photographer Andy Bernstein prepared to take the least compelling photo of his illustrious career.
And as we posed—my groin tight, flop sweat soaking my brow, praying that this moment would soon be over—I heard a voice from the back row, one with a distinctive Hoosier twang.
"Hey, Jack," drawled Larry Bird, "later on, you wanna blow us?"
3. How The Dream Team Got Its Name
The opening to my story in the following week’s magazine read:
It’s a red, white and blue dream: the five players who grace this week’s cover playing together, determined to restore America’s lost basketball dignity, in the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. What’s the chance of this dream coming true? Not bad. Not bad at all.
The cover photo was accompanied by the tagline "Dream Team," right up by the Sports Illustrated logo.
So there it was for the first time: Dream Team.
This book could be 1,000 pages long and I think I'd still finish it all in one sitting.