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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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During the span of days that the 2020 Olympics were originally scheduled, USA Basketball is taking a look back at various Olympic facts and games that happened on this day in Olympic basketball history. Join us on this journey!

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