After their semifinal win over Australia in the Tokyo Olympics, the United States men’s basketball team is one win away from a fourth-straight gold medal. On Friday night, they’ll take on France in the gold medal game for the right to be called Olympic champions.
If Team USA can take care of business, it will be the seventh gold medal in eight tries, dating back to the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. That year, of course, was the introduction of the Dream Team, arguably the best basketball team ever assembled. With the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Team USA cruised to gold in dominant fashion.
Now, as we approach the 30th anniversary of that group, Paramount+ is taking a look back like never before. A new five-part documentary, “Dream Team: Birth of a Modern Athlete,” explores the cultural impact of that team and features rare archival footage. There are also never-before-heard interviews from Jordan, Bird and Charles Barkley, as well as new interviews from Johnson, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing.
“The heart of our series is a huge box of micro-cassette tapes we found at veteran SI writer Jack McCallum’s house,” said Emmett and Brendan Malloy, the directors and executive producers of the project. “Those tapes show Barkley, Bird, Magic, and especially Jordan, behind closed doors: intimate and uncensored. They shared things with Jack that they never told anyone else. This series will be the first time those tapes have been heard publicly.”
All five 40-minute episodes of the documentary series are now available on Paramount+.