Peter Vecsey Hates The Dream Team, Loves Isiah Thomas

Stephen Douglas

IRONIC how yesterday was Flag Day and here we are, draped in drool over the 20th anniversary of the narcissistic 1992 Dream Team.

Is that ironic? I can never remember how to use that device. Is that ironic?

Like long time reader Lawrence Bentley of Plano, Texas, I am proud to say I have never seen that supercilious squadron play a single minute.

The fuck is a Lawrence Bentley and why do I care that he never saw the greatest team ever?

Twice, I declined plum assignments to cover Dream Teams; the first while working for USA Today — though shamelessly tempted by a week or more in Monaco where Chuck Daly’s team trained rigorously for the likes of Angola; the second for NBC in Sydney (2000), which cost me a 25G bonus plus a round-trip first-class ticket for my wife.

So Vecsey turned down a poor person’s year’s salary and an expensive plane ticket for his wife. What is the point of this information? #humblebrag

Once Olympic basketball switched from amateur to pro, I tuned out completely.

Why? He does realize other countries were also using professional players? They still do.

What’s more, I have no intention to watch NBA TV’s currently airing 90-minute documentary that glorifies the grandeur of the Dream Team.

You should, it’s really, really good.

Now that I’ve read some of what was said by a deputized inmate Michael Jordan and authorities responsible for the selection of USA Basketball’s representative, I wish I had smacked around The Farcelona 12 an eternity ago.

Farcelona 12? That’s pretty damn good. Will this year’s team be the LOLdon 12? Somebody get this guy a blog!

The hypocrisy of so many people involved in its assembly and, more to the cutthroat point, the ostracizing of Isiah Thomas, is both wretched and retching.

Him? The leader of the Bad Boys who ran the Knicks and the CBA into the ground? The guy who allegedly spread rumors about Magic’s sexual proclivities following the HIV announcement? The guy from the Anucha Sanders lawsuit? Him? That’s what this is about?

Hold on, before I go back, did he turn his back on Olympic basketball because they didn’t let Isiah come or because they were a bunch of professionals? Isiah was a professional basketball player. If he tuned out, why does he care who was involved? That’s like me getting upset about casting decisions on The Office two years after I gave up on it. (Please don’t search for evidence of me doing that. Thanks in advance.)

The most egregious is committee members with sway giving Jordan the right to banish Thomas from the team. The two had a long-standing beef that covered a multitude of real and imagined transgressions. So, when Jordan let it be known through agent David Falk he refused to be teammates with Thomas, the powers that be folded along the dotted lines.

Well, yeah. He’s Michael Jordan. Greatest player ever. Did more for the game on a global stage than anyone. Ever.

It was inconsequential that Thomas and Jordan both owned two championship rings.

Apparently, yes. Skipping ahead…

What’s almost amusing is that by keeping someone so ruthless and detestable as Thomas off the team implies that the rest of the regimen was composed of solid citizens.

No. Just means Isiah was a noted asshole. Let’s look at some of those other assholes though to show how far better Isiah was. Barkley and Malone were both jerks. Shocking.

PATRICK EWING: Two words, Gold Club. In testimony in July ’91, he told about favors at an Atlanta strip joint.

July ’91?

Oh, really? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall The Farcelona 12 being presented in tuxedoes during the summer of ’92, before the HIV press conference and retirement!

You’re wrong. As Tom Ziller points out, Magic’s announcement came in 1991. Something horrible must have happened to Vecsey in ’91.

Matter of fact, I got Magic and Larry Bird to sign two basketballs before a Lakers-Celtics exhibition in Worcester, Mass.

Gotcha! Larry and Magic signed two basketballs for Vecsey! I wonder if they were a gift for his wife to make up for the lost first class airfare?

I asked Magic also to write “1992 Olympic champions” on them. He hesitated a couple seconds before seeking help.

“Hey, Larry, how you do spell ‘champions?’ ” Magic asked.

As Jack Paar used to say, “I kid you not.’’

Good story? Good job. Good effort.