Bob Knight Rumors
Wanna have the same Olympic gold medal as Michael Jordan?! A player from the Team USA hoops squad in 1984 is parting ways with their memento … and it can be yours if you have a huge chunk of change lying around!! This medal is from the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, when Team USA — coached by college legend Bob Knight — dominated with Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin, Sam Perkins and Wayman Tisdale!!
The team whooped 8 teams before receiving their medals and now one of them will be up for sale … and it’s expected to go for over $70k!! The medal will be on the market with RR Auction … and it still has all the fine details — “XXIII Olympiad, Los Angeles 1984” inscribed on the front and “Basketball, Men” on the side plus the image of the Coliseum.
About a week before the 1984 Olympics, Bob Knight rode shotgun in a Mustang convertible through the streets of Southern California. The United States men’s basketball coach had his feet up on the dashboard and the seat leaned back. Pete Newell was behind the wheel. Henry Iba sat scrunched in the back seat. Both former Team USA head coaches had been involved with the 1984 squad since the trials began three months earlier, in April. Newell was a longtime mentor of Knight, practically a father figure to the Indiana coach. Iba’s wife had died a year earlier, and Knight had invited him to the trials to serve as a consultant to the Olympic staff. It was the escape Iba needed.
Behind the Mustang, a bus transported Knight’s team and staff. The 12 players on board had emerged from perhaps the greatest collection of amateur talent the sport had seen. Among the 72 prospects invited to the Olympic trials in Bloomington, Ind., were 37 future first-round NBA Draft picks, 12 future NBA All-Stars and seven future Hall of Famers. The historical implications weren’t lost on those there. Midway through the trials, George Washington big man Michael Brown asked every player to sign a trials game program, a souvenir he would keep for decades.
The biggest controversy surrounding the selection of the team centered on Knight’s decision to cut Charles Barkley. Over time, the omissions of Karl Malone, John Stockton and others would join that conversation. Many thought Knight could have picked two teams strong enough to win Olympic gold.
Barkley was the surprise. No one had seen someone so big move so fast, jump so quick. During scrimmages, players competing on other courts didn’t have to see to believe. They knew Barkley had dunked just by the sound of the rim snapping back into place. “That was the first time I saw somebody dunk the basketball so hard he lifted the stanchion,” Duke guard Johnny Dawkins said. Barkley talked a lot, and one day at lunch he told everyone at his table that he planned to lead the trials in points, rebounds and assists. Hearing this, Krystkowiak chuckled. “There’s no way,” he said to himself. Then he saw the Auburn star play. Jordan had arrived as the best player in the country, but Barkley looked like the best player in Bloomington. “He had a chip on his shoulder,” Kentucky forward Kenny Walker said. “He knew he was good, but people outside the SEC didn’t know a whole lot about him. He was on a mission.”
The question was whether he could play for a disciplinarian such as Knight. During one scrimmage, Barkley grabbed a defensive rebound, bolted upcourt and dunked viciously, a coast-to-coast avalanche of force. “I thought about taking a charge one time,” Illinois guard Bruce Douglas said, “but I was like, ‘Wait a minute. This dude is going too fast.’” That might have been true. Phelps pulled Barkley aside and told him, “Charles, you got to understand something. You get a rebound, you get it to a guard because Knight’s not going to let you do that.”