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1996 U.S. Olympic Men

Facts & Photos: 1996 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team

  • Date:
    Aug 3, 2020

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were to be held July 24-Aug. 9, 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the Summer Games to 2021. USA Basketball is celebrating the original dates of the 2020 Olympics with a look back at past U.S. Olympic men’s and women’s basketball teams through photos and fun facts. Be sure to check in daily for Olympic memories galore!

On this day in USA Basketball Olympic History: Aug. 3

Attracting 258,106 spectators during the USA's eight games in Atlanta, the 1996 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team averaged a record 32,263 fans per game.

1996 U.S. Olympic Men

During halftime of the USA-Yugoslavia gold medal game, boxing legend Muhammad Ali received from IOC president Juan Antonio Samaranch a replacement medal for his 1960 Olympic Games gold medal that had been lost. The 1996 U.S. Men’s Basketball Team congratulated him on the basketball court and posed for this photo with “The Greatest.”

Muhammad Ali

The 1996 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team was anchored in the frontcourt by three Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame centers – Hakeem Olajuwon (7-foot), Shaquille O’Neal (7-foot-1) and David Robinson (7-foot-1).

David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquille O'Neal
From left to right: David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O'Neal.

Scottie Pippen became the first athlete to win an NBA championship and Olympic gold medal in the same year twice. After winning an NBA title and Olympic gold medal in 1992 with the Dream Team, he won both again in 1996.

Scottie Pippen 

David Robinson became the first U.S. men’s basketball player to suit up in three Olympic Games, winning bronze in 1988 and gold medals in 1992 and 1996. Since then, he has been joined by three-time Olympian LeBron James (2004, 2008 and 2012) and four-time Olympian Carmelo Anthony (2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016).

David Robinson

1996 marked a second-straight Olympic gold medal for Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen and John Stockton; the first of two Olympic golds for Gary Payton (1996 and 2000); and a second Olympic medal for Mitch Richmond (1988-bronze and 1996).

1996 U.S. Olympic Men
From left to right: David Robinson, John Stockton, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley.

Playing in their first and only Olympic Games in 1996 were Anfernee Hardaway, Grant Hill, Reggie Miller, Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal.

 Grant Hill, Anfernee Hardaway
Grant Hill (left) and Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway

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Twenty years after the 1992 USA Basketball Dream Team made its indelible impact on international basketball at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, USA Basketball’s 2012 Men’s National Team, wearing 1992 USA Basketball throwback jerseys, returned to the hardwood in Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain and battled to a hard-fought 86-80 win over Argentina.

USA co-captain Allen Iverson had never hit a game winning shot in his illustrious playing career until he did so on Aug. 4, 2004. With time about to run out, he dribbled across mid-court and launched a game-winning 40-foot 3-pointer to lift the USA National Team to an 80-77 victory over Germany in front of a sold-out Kolnarena crowd numbering 18,000. The Iverson answer was a fitting end to a game that was tight the entire way and one in which NBA All-Star Dirk Nowitzki almost single-handedly kept his country within striking distance. Nowitzki finished the night with a game-best 32 points on 13-for-23 shooting overall, while adding 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

The USA National Team handed the USA Select Team a 111-74 loss in an action filled contest at the University of Hawaii Stan Sheriff Center in front of 8,980 fans. Leading by only 10 points at the half after the select team's Jason Richardson poured in 19 first half points, the USA National Team behind a game high 24 points (10-10 FGs) from Vince Carter dominated the second half with its high-octane running game and posted a 111-74 victory.

The U.S. 22-and-under team, made up of college all-stars and coached by
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