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Dreaming of 1992: An Olympic basketball movie trilogy

In 1992, the landscape of international basketball was changed forever. While most recall the dominance of the USA’s Dream Team – quite probably, BuckBokai asserts, the greatest squad ever assembled in any sport – the hoops in that famed Olympiad of 20 years ago were packed with dozens of compelling backstories, the least two of which were certainly not the silver- and bronze-medal winning Croatia and Lithuania teams.

On the eve of the opening of the XXX Olympiad and with that 20th anniversary observation firmly in mind, BuckBokai recommends a loosely connected trio of films that’ll make for fantastic viewing for the sports history nut. In the virtual screening room, we’ll run this trilogy in order of subject’s finish in the Olympic games.

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Justice Leaguer meets Dream Teamers

In case you missed it, a serious meeting of Dream Teamers took place during the 2012 NBA Finals a couple of weeks ago. BuckBokai isn’t referring here to the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, although note that five players from these squads – Kevin Durant, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Lebron James, Russell Westbrook – will be playing in the London Games and another two – Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade – could well be.

Instead, check out the below YouTube to see Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter version) of the Justice League meet ever brilliant Charles Barkley of The Dream Team and Shaquille O’Neal of Dream Teams II and III after Game 3 of that series. Ms. Carter’s smile remains as appealing beautiful at 60 as in her heyday, though she’s clearly the victim of an overzealous maker-up.

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Edward Cullen vs. Pau Gasol: Who wins?

The brainwashed

Since this piece got little to no love over at big sister ‘site BallinEurope.com, BuckBokai reruns it here – search engine voodoo be damned – for an audience perhaps more in touch with the eternal war between the supernatural undead and NBA basketball…

BuckBokai recently read the latest anti-Laker screed basketball column by ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons, an alternately funny and blood-boiling confession-style bit about conditioning one’s children to cheer for the “right” sports team, i.e. Daddy’s sports team.

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Ultimate championship: Dream Team vs. Redeem Team

As you may have heard, the 1992 version of Team USA was inducted into the Pro Basketball Hall of Fame last Friday.

Team USA, 1992

Over at BuckBokai’s sister site BallinEurope.com, this writer enthused that “the only two teams … who *might* possibly give the Dream Team a series [were] Dream Team III, with much of Dream Team I plus Hakeem Olajuwon and Shaquille O’Neal, who probably should have been on the roster in lieu of the more politically-correctly chosen Christian Laettner in ‘92; and the Redeem Team of 2008, Generation Y’s own Dream Team.”

Which got BuckBokai to thinking later … Why not face ‘em off through the miracle of the virtual sports time-travel website What If Sports?

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K.C. at the Line

BuckBokai’d been wanting to write this nigh-epic poem for years and during the 2010 NBA/Euroleague playoff season, finally got it up to do so. This didn’t play so well at BuckBokai big-sibling site BallinEurope.com back then, so perhaps this lonely piece of prosody will find a more welcome home here – sorry for the lack of science-fiction, but hey, it’s literary.

(And please be sure to check out “Casey at the Bat,” still a good read. If you prefer your poetry combined with an escape from a straitjacket, plus scroll to the bottom of this entry.)

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Insights from parallel universe: Iverson goes to Olympiacos

Sometimes seemingly minor incidents in the grander scheme of sports history are exactly the opposite, for who can truly know the axis upon which events revolve?

Going into the 2009-10 NBA season, a handful of European news outlets tersely reported a rumor that those freewheeling, free-spending Angelopoulos Brothers running the Olympiacos basketball club had offered one Allen Iverson a huge chunk of change to come play in Greece with the Reds.

Yours truly’s speculation then was that ultimately substituting A.I. for Linas Kleiza – for as things turned out in the market last year, Kleiza was the highest-end free-agent the Brothers could coerce to jump the pond to play hoops – would have gotten the Reds off to the exact same start, namely near the top of the EΣAKE and Euroleague tables. (After all, i argued then, there’s nothing even A.I. could’ve done about the H1N1 that struck several members of the club numb for weeks.)

Now that this unfortunate season for both Iverson and Olympiacos are in the books, we have more details to expand the parallel universe of 2009-10 basketball.

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“It was real”: The Space Jam trailer recut

From the Shameless Cross-Promotion Department comes an excellent YouTube clip BuckBokai stumbled across for his other website, BallinEurope.com.

To quote myself (o how gauche), “one of the greatest phenomena on YouTube is the recut movie preview. BuckBokai believes that this recut Space Jam trailer is the best in the genre since the immortal Shining.” You gotta love the way Charles Barkley is given the lion’s share of trailer time, too.

(Incidentally, YouTube user Royalplinko proclaims the ‘Jam to be “the greatest film of the 90s”: a sentiment which with BuckBokai is hardly prepared to disagree.)

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More Shatner vs. Timberwolves GM? Kaaaahn do!

Another day, another Kirk vs. Kahn clip. This one features a slightly bemused Chris Webber listening to everyone’s everyone outside of Minnesota’s favorite NBA general manager David Kahn explain during a summer league game that Darko Milicic is as good a passer as Vlade Divac was.

(Dude, David, you might have done some homework there and realized that Webber actually *played* with Divac and so realized you were trying to blow a lot of interstellar gas up the gluteus maximi of the television audience that night.)

In any case, this one’s brought to you by request from Bill Simmons, YouTube user Didn’tDrawIron and BuckBokai, your home for Kaaaahn clips.

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Captain Kirk’s thoughts on Ricky Rubio

You gotta love David Kahn, GM of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Why? Well, primarily because you’re not a T-wolves fan, but also because he represents a single brilliant degree of separation between the awesome (or “almost surreal” as the man himself put it) Ricky Rubio and Star Trek.

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The brilliant, albeit brief, science-fiction career of Sir Charles Barkley

Charles Barkley is a two-time NBA MVP (well, they *did* rook him out of it that one year), a Hall of Famer, an Emmy winner, a future governor of Alabama and/or general manager of the Atlanta Hawks, and the greatest interview subject of all-time – but Buck Bokai loves his acting the best of all.

A brief look at the short-yet-inspiring science-fiction career of the coolest man in existence, Charles Barkley.

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Who’s on First: The Doctor’s great moments in sport

Thanks to the performance contributed on the football pitch by the increasingly awesome Matt Smith in this season’s Doctor Who episode “The Lodger,” BuckBokai was inspired enough to delve the ol’ matrix memory banks for other great sporting moments from this frankly mostly cerebral Time Lord.

Some sports in which the Doctor has taken part through his 11 lives and 900-some odd years include the following.

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