The 4-Down Podcast, Episode 52: Jack McCallum

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Dream-Team-Jack-McCallum

This should be atop your summer reading list.

Who knows what would’ve happened to Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw and many of the other international players the Spurs have featured over the years if the 1992 USA Men’s National Basketball Team came along. More than probably any team, the Spurs can thank the Dream Team for the influence they had over the global game of basketball.

The Dream Team came, saw and conquered in the Barcelone Olympics and changed basketball in the process. This year is the 20th anniversary of that team, and we’re seeing a slew of things celebrating that team. NBA TV did a great documentary of the Dream Team a few weeks ago, but the best has to be Jack McCallum‘s new book. “Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles, and the Greatest Team of All-Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever” details how the 1992 squad was put together and the circumstances that put NBA players in the Olympics in the first place.

Jack McCallum was kind enough to join Graydon and myself on the 4-Down Podcast this week to talk about the new book. He told us about Spurs great David Robinson’s role on that ’92 team and how good of a player The Admiral was at the time. We also talk about how the rotation of big men the Dream Team had is probably the difference between that team and any modern Team USA that could theoretically take it on.

After talking to Jack, Graydon and I discuss the Spurs offseason thus far and our thoughts on San Antonio coming back for the most part with the same roster.

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  • SAJKinBigD

    That was a pretty interesting interview! He had some different views on The Admiral, didn’t he? I’ve always felt Dave could’ve been more than he was.
    Thanks for sharing, guys!

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for listening.

  • SAJKinBigD

    You’re quite welcome! Y’all’re my favorite source of Spurs stories here in the heart of Maverick-land.
    Speaking of which, they’ve been extremely creative this week. If they get Brand in the amnesty-deal, they’ll be trouble for us again.

  • STIJL

    Enjoyed the pod cast.

    Astounding at how many options the Spurs have on the perimeter. Too many and not enough in the post? Let’s see…Parker, Neal, Mills, (?)Denmon, Green, Ginobili, Jackson, Leonard, De Colo and Joseph. Post…Duncan, Diaw, Blair, Splitter and Bonner.

    What are the chances the Spurs incorporate one or two of it’s perimeter players with one of it’s post players to hopefully land a better post option than who they currently possess? Is it something the Spurs need to do to improve their chances next season? Or….can this team perform above it’s ceiling of last season through it’s perimeter game whilst standing pat in the post?

    As they say in business…if you’re not improving…you’re getter worse.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    I fully expect Gary Neal to be included in any trade package the Spurs have because he’s an established NBA player at this point on a cheap, unguaranteed contract. And the Spurs have the depth to move him.

  • Len

    I understand the thinking about Neal but unless he fetches the defensive big that the Spurs desperately need, I don’t think moving Neal is smart. He is one of the best 3 pt shooters in the league (yes I just said that). And he’s showing steady improvement for creating his shot off the dribble. Yes, he isn’t a point guard. Yes, he has trouble bringing the ball up court. But with Anderson soon to be out of the picture and Manu not far from retirement, Neal seems to fit into the Spurs future just fine.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    I think simply because Neal will be due a significant pay raise after this season and that I think he’s pretty close to his ceiling as an NBA player, it would make sense for the Spurs to deal him if it solidifies the big man rotation.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    Per a tweet from Marc Stein this morning, the Cavs are open to offers for Anderson Varejao.

  • STIJL

    Question to those in the know.
    Can an “unguarnateed” contract be renegotiated with the current team to a 3 year contract extension for a higher amount per season and then use that amount in a trade and sign situation with another team?

  • STIJL

    This is a nice offer. http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=76weeow
    Especially if Cavs (who are reportedly interested in Scola) are successful in obtaining Scola after being amnestied.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    Not bad.

  • DorieStreet

    Neal’s defense was atrocious all through the playoffs. Why was he sloughing off of his man to provide a half-a** effort on rotations, or weak double teams? Jazz/Clippers/Thunder bench PGs lit him up. Package him with Blair and/or Bonner so Spurs can get the best low post player available.

  • DorieStreet

    Neal goes in a package trade (Blair, Bonner). If Denmon’s skills and desire shows he belongs in the league, then he moves Joseph out of the picture -either as a Spur or a Toro. Jackson’s big contract helps out immensely after next season when it comes off the books; he and Leonard will strictly play out of the 3 spot.
    Parker, Mills (he’s signed; use him Pop in 2012-13), Denmon
    Green, Ginobili, De Colo
    Leonard, Jackson, [FA2]
    Duncan, Diaw, Splitter, [FA1, FA2]
    Neal, Blair, Bonner are out.

  • STIJL

    Just wondering what type of player they could get for just a Neal/Bonner exchange? My tendency is to think they don’t get much of an improvement by just moving those two (and Blair?) and it would take Jackson’s expiring to help land a player of significance.

    Otherwise…yes…Jackson as Leonard’s back up works great for the team. But, then the team remains the same in the post with a year older Duncan and no one else on the roster to adequately relieve Duncan.

  • STIJL
  • DorieStreet

    All signs point to we Spurs fans have an outstanding player – and person – leading the way once the present stars of the team move on. Go Spurs Go!!!

  • DorieStreet

    Probably Hawks GM Ferry hardest decision to date if this is on the table. Gets Jax’s expiring contract to continue makeover for 2013-14, plus moving the mercurial Smith; but JSmooth is a hometown player, and Zsa Zsa is a fan favorite on and off the court in ATL.

  • STIJL

    Well…nothing special from Kawhi at the end of half time. But CoJo looking impressive to this point. I think I can say…Zeller is not going to make the team and Dawson to this point is not showing much promise to improving his chances. First game. Early to judge…but not much in the way of any player being an eye catcher. Second half to come…maybe something of hope will demonstrate itself.

  • STIJL

    Good recovery from a slow first half. Leonard with 23, Joseph with 18 and Dawson with 10 and 13 boards. Just about who I thought would do well.

  • ThatBigGuy

    Kawhi is a known commodity. Joseph shower some fire, but he didn’t wow anymore than a second year, 1st round pick should in Summer League. Dawson did pull down 13 boards, but he’s still only 6’9″, so he’s not making the rotation either. Ryan Richards is years away at best. Denmon didn’t get a lot of chances, but he didn’t exactly wow in those limited touches.

    We’re not getting better through this summer league team.

  • http://48minutesofhell.com Andrew A. McNeill

    At this point, the Spurs are only looking at 14th and 15th men anyway. They only way they’re getting better anytime between now and next summer is internal development and trade.

  • ThatBigGuy

    Ya, I wasn’t really expecting much outside Joseph and Kawhi, but there’s always the temptation of an unknown like Richards. It’s all good, if we were expecting to gain rotation players from this squad, it means the varsity is in sad shape.

  • STIJL

    I hope that long conversation Pop had with Danny Ferry in the bleachers was about implementing such a trade.

  • STIJL

    If CoJo continues to play well in summer league he just might be a trade chip the Spurs could use. Cleveland at this point is without a back up point guard. Not much in the way (at this time) of any free agent point guards making their way to Cleveland. Joseph as a young study behind Irving?

    This trade may propel interest from all parties involved but I think Cleveland might be the hardest to sell. http://espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=78g5nkz

    It doesn’t reduce Cleveland’s projected wins as much as another trade I displayed and if the Cavs recruit the services of Scola…they should improve that status to a plus marker.

    Spurs retain their sharpshooting 3 point specialists in Neal and Bonner whilst allowing Neal to play more in his natural position of 2G if Mills proves to be a better option as b/u pg and would not have to rely to giving Bonner more minutes than necessary.

    Also…Dawson if he plays decent throughout summer league could be tendered an offer just to be part of the trade giving either Hawks or Cavs a cheep potential keeper to their roster.

  • STIJL
  • Titletown99030507d

    By the casual interview Pop had with the color analysts during the game yesterday he was asked what are you looking to get from this group this summer league and said “nothing or none”. He said we are stacked and we need to get a fire under Diaw. OH my! Diaw is his answer. DING DING DING WRONG ANSWER POP!

  • DorieStreet

    Joseph has been in the Spurs system for a year and actually played some games last season; ESPN still cannot come up with a photo image for his stat/bio page?