In the latest episodes of "The Last Dance," we got to learn a little bit more about the Dream Team, which won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, and is widely considered the greatest basketball team ever assembled.
There were stories about Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Toni Kukoc -- who was playing for Croatia at the time, and was yet to come over to the NBA -- but the film is focused on the Chicago Bulls, so there wasn't time to really dive into everything surrounding that U.S. team.
Thankfully, Ahmad Rashad was able to shed a bit more light on some of the behind-the-scenes activity in Barcelona. Taking to his Twitter, he told a terrific story on Tuesday about an argument involving Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Jordan about who had the best team, and later who was the best player. Ewing and Barkley were quickly told to stop talking because they hadn't won a ring.
Rashad's full story:
So we are sitting in a room in a hotel in Barcelona: Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson. And there is a conversation going on about who had the best team. Now Larry Bird makes Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley stop talking totally, because they never won a championship. So the conversation is between, Boston, the Lakers and Chicago.
Then the conversation moves forward onto who's the best individual player. Now Michael and Magic got into it, they were talking back and forth to each other, and it was really funny. I was sitting up there with Larry Bird and we were just watching. Then finally, Michael gets very upset and says, 'Listen, all I'm telling you -- I'm telling you Larry, I'm telling you Magic -- if you don't quit, every time I see you next year I am busting your ass. When I come to your arena, I'm busting your ass. I'm warning you right now, you better quit.'
After time went by, Larry Bird just looks over at Magic and he says, 'Magic, you and I were then, and Michael Jordan is now.' And that's how that went.
Bird telling Ewing and Barkley to shut up because they hadn't won a ring is a tremendous anecdote, but the real story here is how Jordan convinced everyone he was now the best guy.
As the documentary has reinforced, Jordan is perhaps the most competitive person of all time, so it's no surprise that he took a friendly argument to the level of threatening to destroy everyone on the court the next season. Even if it was tossing quarters with his security staff, he simply hated to lose at anything, and was always out to prove he was the best.
The fact that neither Bird or Magic, who admittedto Jordan in Barcelona, wanted any part of Jordan's wrath at that point in their careers proves once again that by the early 1990s, the Bulls star had taken over as the top dog in the league.