The 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona has become a sporting legend. It was the first Olympics to include NBA players from the USA, and it was the first time that the Dream Team, consisting of NBA players from the USA, would compete in the Olympics. The games were the center of attention and the media loved it.
People want to know what’s up with Charles Barkley, but the ball is always bouncing somewhere else.
Charles Barkley is a professional basketball player. is a professional basketball player. has always marched to the beat of his own drum, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about him over the years. While I never imagined myself mentioning Barkley in the same breath as Frank Sinatra, he has channeled “Ol’ Blue Eyes” throughout his career, both as a player and as a broadcaster, in the sense that he does things his way.
Even his own teammates and coworkers have not always approved with his actions, but we’re assuming the 11-time NBA All-Star doesn’t give a damn. Back in the day, Barkley famously said that he shouldn’t be a role model, and there were definitely instances when he wasn’t.
One such event occurred during his time with the Dream Team in 1992, when he caused an international issue during the team’s first Olympic game versus Angola.
During the Dream Team’s opening game at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, Charles Barkley elbowed an Angolan player in the chest.
No squad was anticipated to beat or even come close to defeating the Dream Team going into the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. NBA players were permitted to compete in international competition for the first time, and that inaugural squad of superstars is still widely regarded as the finest combination of talent ever assembled. With the exception of Christian Laettner, the team’s lone college player, every single member of the Dream Team, including Barkley, was subsequently inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The issue was never whether or if the Dream Team would win each of their games, but how much they would win by. And their first game was the simplest, as they faced Angola, a team with no players taller than 6-foot-6 on the roster. Everyone expected this to be a blowout, and it was, as the United States cruised to a 68-point win, 116-48.
With 24 points, Barkley led all scorers in the game, but that wasn’t the major story of the day. Barkley pushed an Angolan player after being fouled in the paint early in the game. After the US had scored 29 consecutive points, Barkley scored on a driving layup that was challenged by Herlander Coimbra, who was 24 years old at the time. Charles elbowed Coimbra, all 174 pounds of him, in the chest as he ran back up the court, drawing a technical foul.
Everyone on the court, including Coimbra, was taken aback by the incident. But the dispute was just getting started.
Charles Barkley, a member of the Dream Team, in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics – Icon Sportswire
Barkley was unrepentant about his conduct after the game, saying Coimbra had struck him several times before he delivered his notorious elbow. And things got much worse when “The Mound of Rebound” made the following remarks (via Sports Illustrated):
“I was advised that the next time I struck a thin man, I should strike a big guy. That man hadn’t eaten in maybe a couple weeks.”
Famine was a major issue in Angola at the time, as the nation was mired in a decades-long civil conflict that would continue another decade. So many people, including his teammates, were offended by Barkley’s behavior and remarks.
After the incident, Michael Jordan told NBC that he and the rest of the Dream Team met with Barkley and informed him that what he did “wasn’t smart” and hoped the team as a whole could move on. For security concerns, the Dream Team did not remain in the Olympic Village with the rest of the competitors and instead slept in a $900-per-night hotel, which caused some consternation. As a result, Barkley’s actions didn’t help matters.
The United States Olympic Committee contemplated sending Barkley home, but ultimately decided against it. The next game, against Toni Kukoc and Croatia, he got another technical for engaging with the fans, which is a huge no-no in international play. As the Olympics progressed, he got a lot of boos, but he also earned a lot of applause, as his charisma has always attracted people to him.
Charles was easily the team’s top player during the two-week span, averaging a team-high 18 points. Barkley and the Dream Team went on to win the gold medal.
Barkley and Coimbra became fast friends.
Barkley represented the United States in the Olympics in Atlanta four years later, with the exception of the game against Angola. However, it didn’t stop him from reuniting with Coimbra, who was ready to forgive Barkley after the event in 1992. Barkley subsequently said that the two developed a relationship over the years.
“Everyone made such a huge deal out of it” (elbow). I explained to him [Coimbra] that it was nothing personal, but that if he struck me, I had no choice but to strike back.
“In 1996, he came to Atlanta searching for me to say hello. ‘You made me a huge star in my nation,’ he added. Since then, we’ve had a wonderful connection, a little friendship.”
Barkley topped the United States in scoring once again, averaging 12.4 points on route to his second gold medal. And he accomplished it without throwing any elbows that time.
Basketball Reference provided the statistics.
Charles Barkley says his long-running feud with Michael Jordan isn’t going away anytime soon.
The Dream Team, the U.S. men’s basketball team that won gold at the 1992 Olympics, will forever be known as the greatest basketball team ever, but it’s probably fair to say that the team didn’t exactly have a warm, fuzzy relationship with the media. One of the team’s four captains, Charles Barkley, was known for his prickly attitude, which he displayed especially during the 1992 Olympics, where he famously clashed with the press during the team’s first game.. Read more about charles barkley dream team jersey and let us know what you think.
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