The inadmissible phrase that sullied the reputation of the Dream Team 1992
If the Dream Team 1992 remains three decades after a monument of sport, admired by all, a gray area has come to obscure the picture during the tournament. It is signed Charles Barkley, who had released a very regrettable and condemnable sentence …
Match the aura of the Dream Team 1992? Very unlikely, not to say impossible. The best assembled basketball team in history had been the sensation of the 1992 Olympics, sweeping through Barcelona in unparalleled media madness. Too strong, Chuck Daly’s men had beaten all the competition, winning the gold medal without taking a single time-out of the tournament.
This idyllic picture was nevertheless marred by a controversy – only one. In the match against Angola, won 116 to 48 (!), Charles Barkley behaved inappropriately by nudging an inexplicable opponent after a lay-up. The score was then… 38 to 7.
The Spanish public immediately booed Sir Charles, and rightly so. He who had already stood out for his arrogance before the match, famously declaring « I don’t know anything about Angola, but I know they are in trouble », crossed the red line at that moment- the. After the game, it was therefore not time to talk about the overwhelming success of Michael jordan and co, but rather the gesture of the Chuckster, which monopolized all the media attention.
But rather than calm things down, Barkley hammered home the point, with an unacceptable phrase:
People told me to go after a bigger guy next time, not a skinny one. He probably hadn’t eaten for 2 or 3 weeks.
A « joke » on famine, in a country ravaged by this disease: quite logically, Angola and several African countries were outraged by this declaration. It took diplomacy and a smoother demeanor from Charles Barkley to calm things down, but unfortunately the damage had been done to Angolans who, however, idolized the Suns player.
This regrettable episode obviously had little impact on the mystique around the Dream Team and the great tasty anecdotes around it, but this cracking of the unpredictable and impetuous Charles Barkley remains as the black point of the adventure for Team USA .
Charles Barkley’s outspokenness is legendary, for better… and sometimes for worse. That night in 1992? it was clearly for the worst.