Do you feel as if our memories of the Dream Team have been a little too warm and fuzzy? Do you wish someone would point out that many of the players had deep personal flaws? Have you longed for someone to carry water for Isiah Thomas? Welp, the New York Post's Peter Vecsey has you covered in an incredibly mean-spirited (even for The Viper) column on the subject.
The greatest hits:
* Vecsey pulls a gotcha on Magic Johnson over the issue of Isiah apparently spreading rumors that Magic contracted HIV through same-sex relations. Vecsey said Isiah was snubbed for the Dream Team before the HIV announcement. Nope. The HIV press conference was in November 1991. Vecsey cites a presser revealing the Dream Team in 1992.
* Vecsey brags about despising USA Basketball so much that he turned down a $25,000 bonus and a first-class plane ticket for his wife to cover Sydney in 2000. Oh, my!
* The Viper laces into Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing and Magic for various transgressions ... on behalf of Isiah Freaking Thomas, who, as you might have heard, is a bit of a flawed character himself. (See: HIV rumors.)
There's no real direction or point Vecsey is trying to make here that I can ascertain. But the thrust seems to be that USA Basketball kowtowed to Michael Jordan, who despised Isiah, by keeping him off the team. You know what? Good. Having MJ, Magic, a busted Bird and everyone else on that team in Barcelona did for basketball 1,000 times what having Isiah and no MJ would have done. MJ was the biggest star in the world. If he indicates that his participation that summer was contingent on a (widely) hated rival not being invited, I'm glad USA Basketball consented. Basketball (an industry Vecsey has covered exclusively in the two decades since) is much, much stronger because of it.