SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There isn’t a Michael Jordan or Larry Bird in this Hall of Fame class, but there is one player who helped change the way basketball is thought of today.
The Basketball Hall of Fame will welcome ten new members. Alonzo Mourning, Class of 2014, told 22News, “The one thing that resonates with all of us is that we have deep passionate love for the game.”
If you’re a basketball fan, you’ve heard of David Stern and Alonzo Mourning, but fellow class member Sarunas Marciulionis may have had the largest impact on the game. Marciulionis played for the Soviet Union, which upset the United States in the 1988 Olympic semifinals.
The dream team may have never existed if the United States had won gold in the 1988 Olympics.
(If his team doesn’t win the gold in ’88, do you think there’s a Dream Team, do you think there’s NBA guys in the Olympics now?)
Mitch Richmond, Class of 2014, responded, “Man, No, and I was a part of that.” Richmond played on Team USA in the 1988 Olympics, the last team to be made up entirely of college players. Marciulionis’ Russian team was filled with pros.
(By winning the gold in ’88, do you ever feel that you’re partly responsible for the Dream Team?)
“American teams that were formed with NBA stars after that. That’s an interesting question. If we lose in the semifinals, so definitely in ’92 there would be a different team, there would definitely there would definitely be no Dream team, I know that from the NBA side,” said Marciulionis.
The Dream Team was enshrined in the hall of fame in 2012. The USA has won gold at every Olympics since.