A documentary going in depth about the creation and success of the greatest basketball team ever created. The Dream Team. Takes place in the 92 Olympics, where team USA and it's eleven Hall... See full summary »

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A documentary going in depth about the creation and success of the greatest basketball team ever created. The Dream Team. Takes place in the 92 Olympics, where team USA and it's eleven Hall of Famers take gold in the greatest assertion of sports dominance in history. Written by Kevin Menezes

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13 June 2012 (USA)  »

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OK it is more promo than proper documentary, but it is engaging in its nostalgic warmth and interesting snippets
15 September 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This TV documentary screened when the Olympics were going on and, while I was watching the current US team win gold, I thought it would be good to look back on the first proper Dream Team in Barcelona. This film does that and, although it is a weakness of the documentary, it does do it with a sort of fondness and nostalgia that I was ready for. The film very briefly follows the construction of the team, the controversy over some of those excluded (well, one obvious on in particular) and also some of the fuss over this massively powerful team being brought to the Olympics to essentially crush the opposition.

On this last aspect I was interested because this is my memory as well – that the "spirit" of the event was being destroyed by this team of professional athletes playing in the top league in the world against those of a much lower standard. This is a fair point in regards the gulf of class but perhaps less of a fair point when it came to the US, since other countries had no such criticism about fielding their best players from the NBA. This topic gets very short examination from the film – as indeed do most of the more interesting topics because, while it lists itself as a documentary, it is more a celebration or a promotional piece. As a result the tone is, although informative, more about entertaining and it does do this well. The story itself is a good one even if it is essentially "US took massively powerful team of NBA stars to crush lesser opposition". The players all give good contributions and it is structured very well as a story. I liked the footage that I had never seen before of the practice loss against college players and the inter-NBA game with plenty of trash talking from Magic; it was also very funny to see John Stockton (always an unassuming kind of guy) walking the streets and not even being recognised by American fans.

Indeed it is this footage and these contributions that make the film work because it does give it this nicely nostalgic feel. The players in particular do that; it is obvious they had a blast and this comes across in recollections and stories that they share. This makes it enjoyable because it does bring out the spirit behind – competitive sure but not cruel as it was perceived outside the US at the time. There is an element of airbrushing to this though, and the film does make some very general and non-specific claims about it being good for basketball etc but this is part of the territory of it being nostalgic rather than really documenting in the classic sense.

I forgave it for this though because I did find it very entertaining and those looking for a warming look back at this team will find this film to do the same for them. Those looking for a proper documenting of the opinions of others, impact of the team and controversy surrounding it will not find that here, which is a bit disappointing, but it does still provide enough to engage and entertain.


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