Back before most NBA stars decided that an Olympic gold medal was not enough of a reward to risk an injury, the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona played host to the "Dream Team" -- the United States basketball team that won every game by at least 30 points on the back of the most dominant assemblage of talent on any given team in the history of American sports.
Having said that, this team had stars and benchwarmers, and this list seeks to rank those legendary players by way of their on-court resume.
12. Christian Laettner
Sorry, Christian. Someone had to be last. Laettner was still starring at Duke when he got the nod for the '92 team over Shaquille O'Neal. Laettner had a solid pro career, but he bounced around to six teams in 13 years, making only one All-Star team and never becoming the game-changer he looked like as a Blue Devil.
11. Chris Mullin
Mullin is a hero in New York City thanks to his time as a St. John's star and in the Bay Area after getting the Warriors into the national spotlight. One of the best shooters of his day, Mullin made five All-Star teams while averaging 25.8 points per game in his best five-year stretch. While he is a Hall of Famer, he's easily one of the most underrated players ever.
10. Clyde Drexler
Drexler was a 10-time All-Star known for his high-flying ability to attack the basket. While he helped the Blazers get to the NBA Finals in the 1990s, Drexler would be even better in today's NBA, as his ability to spot up from 3, play solid defense, and slash to the basket for easy dunks would be valued immensely.
9. Patrick Ewing
Ewing never got a ring with the Knicks, but that shouldn't nullify what was an outstanding career after one of the greatest college careers of all-time at Georgetown. From 1987 to 1997, Ewing averaged 24 points and 10 rebounds per game without tremendous second stars around him, all the while making 11 All-Star teams in his career.
8. David Robinson
The immediate success of Tim Duncan right after he retired has somewhat clouded the legacy of Robinson, but there was a time that Robinson was the best big man in the game and it wasn't even particularly close. "The Admiral" was a 10-time All-Star and 8-time All-Defensive team selection, and he has both an MVP, a Defensive Player of the Year, and two championships on his mantlepiece.
7. Scottie Pippen
We may never know how great Pippen truly was, as he spent his prime years as second fiddle to Jordan on those legendary Bulls teams. Pippen, to this day, might be the best perimeter defender in league history, and when you pair that with his versatility, ball handling, and shooting, you have a career that only a few other wings can claim to have topped.
6. Charles Barkley
Even with the greatest players of all time surrounding him, it was Sir Charles who led the Dream Team in scoring. Barkley was a player ahead of his time, as he was the best rebounder in the league for a period of time despite standing at just 6-6. He could handle the ball, shoot, and distribute at a clip that most players his size can only dream of.
5. John Stockton
Stockton was not a big factor on the Dream Team, but what can't be denied is that back in Utah, Stockton was one of the greatest players to ever hit the court. Stockton is among the best ball distributors ever, as evidenced by the fact he holds the NBA records for assists and steals, records that are so mind-boggling that both of them might never be broken.
4. Karl Malone
Malone might have a dodgy off-court life, but there were few power forwards in the game that were as much of a pain to deal with as "The Mailman" was. Using a sculpted upper body and a ferocious desire to get to the rim, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has more points than Malone, who was the leading rebounder on the Dream Team with 5.3 per game. It's a damn shame his Jazz teams never got a ring.
3. Larry Bird
Matching Magic step for step pretty much throughout his entire career was Larry Bird, who brought his high basketball IQ and sharp shooting to the US team. Bird could score 20 points per game with his eyes closed, and he paired that scoring instinct with plus defense and rebounding while becoming one of the first superstars to take advantage of the 3-point line in a major way.
2. Magic Johnson
HIV might have forced him to retire from the NBA, but Magic showed at the Olympics he could still ball out as the team's starting point guard. With 11.2 assists per game, 10 All-NBA teams, three MVPs, and five championship rings, very few, if any, players in the history of the game made basketball look as effortless as Magic did.
1. Michael Jordan
Shocker, I know. Jordan is not only clearly the best player in this group, but most believe him to be the greatest basketball player who ever lived. Listing his accomplishments would do him no favors. Michael was a truly signature force in basketball history, as he essentially owned the sport for the better part of a decade.