Did you know the original Dream Team lost?
Before the Olympics, the top NBA stars (minus Isiah Thomas) lost to a group of college players, including future Pistons Grant Hill and Chris Webber, in a scrimmage. Ben Steele of Order of the Court explains what had been known about it:
The scrimmage wasn’t taped and was held behind closed doors. There was no official scoring, so accounts widely differ. Michael Wilbon reported in The Washington Post that the collegians won, 88-80. David Halberstam has the score as 58-52 in “Playing For Keeps.” Johnson and Bird recall losing the 20-minute scrimmage 62-54 in “When The Game Was Ours.”
Turns out, it was taped (score: 62-54) and will be shown as part of a documentary an NBA TV on June 13. And – it gets better – the documentary will show it was all part of Chuck Daly’s plan. Richard Sandomir of The New York Times:
The scrimmage lost to the college players was a fix, part of Coach Chuck Daly’s plan to demonstrate to team loaded with 11 future Basketball Hall of Famers that they could lose in international competition.
“He threw the game,” Mike Krzyzewski, who assisted Daly, along with Wilkens and P.J. Carlesimo, said in the documentary. Daly calmly told Krzyzewski during the scrimmage, “We’re all right.”
(In 2008, Krzyzewski made similar remarks when he said, “Chuck wanted them to lose.”)
In the documentary, he said: “If you look at how much Jordan played and how he subbed the guys in, not picking up, not making any adjustments; he knew what he was doing.”
Asked why Daly didn’t confide his intentions to his assistants, Krzyzewski said: “We probably would have screwed it up.”
Before the media filed in after the scrimmage, Daly ordered that the result be banished from the scoreboard. At their next and last scrimmage, the Dream Team trounced the collegians.
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