Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daly, who coached the original Dream Team to the Olympic gold medal in 1992 and won back-to-back NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990, died Saturday morning in Jupiter, Fla., after a battle with pancreatic c
Legendary Dream Team Head Coach Chuck Daly Dies
May 9, 2009
Hall of Fame coach Chuck Daly, who coached the original Dream Team to the Olympic gold medal in 1992 and won back-to-back NBA championships with the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990, died Saturday morning in Jupiter, Fla., after a battle with pancreatic cancer.
'Coach Daly will be missed by all, especially by his friends at USA Basketball. He gave so much to our organization no words or awards would fully acknowledge all he did,' said USA Basketball executive director Jim Tooley. 'His impact on basketball players and coaches covered all levels - high school, college, the NBA and of course internationally. His impact in international basketball is immeasurable. As head coach he guided the 1992 U.S. Olympic Team, a team comprised of NBA legends which he later described as a 'majestic team,' to the gold medal in impressive style and in doing so helped capture the world's attention and launch a global explosion in the popularity of basketball.'
Daly was voted one of the 10 greatest coaches of the NBA's first half-century in 1996, two years after being inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. He was the first coach to win both an NBA title and Olympic gold.
From the start they were penciled in as the 1992 Olympic gold medalist team. The media, their opponents, and fans of basketball all agreed that this team would be unbeatable. And it was.
Featuring basketball's best of the best, the U.S. men were never challenged as a new era of international basketball made its debut. International rules, which had previously prevented only NBA players from being eligible for Olympic basketball, were changed by the FIBA membership on April 7, 1989, by virtue of a 56-13 vote in favor of 'open competition.' With the rule change, USA Basketball set forth on its mission of assembling the best possible team, and what a team USA Basketball assembled!
Cruising through the Olympic qualifying tournament with an unblemished 6-0 record, the USA Olympic men's basketball team later strolled almost as easily past its Olympic opponents en route to an 8-0 record and the Olympic gold medal in Barcelona, Spain.
Opening against Angola, behind Charles Barkley's 24 points the U.S. squad stomped to a one-sided 116-48 victory. Facing a talented Croatian team a day later, the 'Dream Team' managed a 33-point win, 103-70. Michael Jordan led the U.S. team with 21 points. The U.S. team had an easy time with a solid Germany team, rolling to a 111-68 victory as Larry Bird, who had been bothered by a nagging back injury, returned to his All-Star form to lead the USA offensive attack with 19 points, while Karl Malone chipped in 18. While seven 'Dream Team' members scored in double digits, Barkley (12-14 FGs) set a USA Olympic single game scoring record with 30 points as the USA crushed Brazil, 127-83. Closing out pool play against host Spain, the U.S. scored a convincing 122-81 victory.
Advancing to the quarterfinals, Mullin accounted for a team high 21 points as the USA easily defeated Puerto Rico, 115-77. Meeting Lithuania in the semifinals, a talent filled team that featured four of the top six scorers from the Soviet Union's 1988 Olympic gold medal winning team, the American team jumped out to 11-0 and 34-8 leads to quickly put this contest out of reach and went on to record an impressive 127-76 win as nine U.S. players scored in double figures.
Facing Croatia in the gold medal contest, the U.S. again prevailed in the rematch, this time winning by 32 points, 117-85. Jordan led the U.S. in the gold medal contest with 22 points, while Barkley and Patrick Ewing accounted for 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Averaging an Olympic record 117.3 points a game, the USA squad won by an average of 43.8 points and the closest any opponent could come was 32 points (117-85 versus Croatia in the gold medal game).
'You will see a team of professionals in the Olympics again,' said USA coach Chuck Daly. 'But I don't think you'll see another team quite like this. This was a majestic team.'
Daly is survived by his wife, Terry, as well as daughter Cydney and grandchildren Sebrina and Connor