February 23, 2012
In the summer 1992 fifteen men left the United States and headed east in search of gold. Their destination was Barcelona. Their calling was Basketball. Their’s was a unique journey. The squad was the first USAB team to feature active professional basketball players and naturally were considered huge favorites to finish that summer with gold around their necks. They were referred to, and forever will be, as The Dream Team. Widely considered one of the strongest teams assembled in any sport they won every game they played by an average of 44 points.
The team’s first game together came ahead of their flight to Barcelona in Portland, Oregon (a fitting birthplace for what is to come this summer) and resulted in a victory by a margin of almost 80 points. The defeated coach summed up the gap between the Dream Team and his team when he said “You can’t cover the sun with your finger.”
A great summer of sport happened in Catalan region that summer, but The Dream Team became the icon of that moment and the influence they created on young sports enthusiasts around the world can be felt today as you look up and down the rosters the finest basketball organizations across the United States. The Dream Team’s summer became the moment when Basketball entered households around the world.
To commemorate 20 years since their victory Nike Sportswear has created a line of apparel paying homage to the team. The standout piece is without doubt The Dream Team Destroyer Jacket. A premium execution of a silhouette that has become one of Nike Sportswear’s best pieces tells some of the great stories of The Dream Team’s summer. The traditional Destroyer’s wool body and leather sleeves is present, but the detailing is where this piece comes into it’s own.
Led by Nike Sportswear Graphic Design Director, Russell Stott and his team the left-side sleeve features three chenille patches. Each with a different story. “The uppermost patch shows detail outlining the average point differentiation by which the team won their games (43.8) as well as a XXV reference to Barcelona as the 25th ‘games’ in sporting history. The middle patch talks to some of the locations that this years team will visit before the summer and the lower patch utilizes the USAB logo.
On the left-breast of the jacket there is a USA flag embroidered with inspiration from military and space travel as well as each game score stitched in. U S A is embroidered in a toweling-effect on the right-hand side of the body with a USAB pin-badge included. The numbers of the team’s ‘starting five’ – 15, 9, 7, 14 and 6 – are also embroidered on the right-sleeve. We’ve also included a large embroidered XX to represent the 20th year since the games and “Land of the Free, Home of The Brave’ in italicized fonts above the front pockets on either side.
“When we were looking through our archives, we also found a replica of the Dream Team jersey that Nike had created with a message to the team created on the jack tag. We’ve re-imagined that graphic on the inside of the jacket, calling out the 20th anniversary. In addition to The Destroyer Jacket, which is really the pinnacle piece of the collection we’ve also created elements of this storytelling on an AW77 Hoody, Crew sweat, Tees and Caps. In addition to the apparel collection we’re also going to be re-issuing some of the footwear styles that the team wore for the tournament,” added Stott. Nike Sportswear footwear styles include Nike Air More Uptempo, Nike Shox BB4, Nike Air Force 180, Nike Air Zoom Huarache 2K4 and Nike Air Force 1 Hi.