Duke basketball: Christian Laettner deserved to be on Dream Team

Duke basketball legend Christian Laettner (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Duke basketball legend Christian Laettner (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for SiriusXM) /

The former Duke basketball legend Christian Laettner had every right to be on the 1992 Olympic Men’s Basketball Dream Team as the only amateur player on the squad.

Decades later and Christian Laettner is still getting under the skin of opposing fans, and Sunday the Duke basketball legend was trending on Twitter for something that happened 28 years ago.

As the most recent ESPN documentary series, The Last Dance, highlighting the career of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, aired Episodes Five and Six on Sunday night, a major point in the two hours was the 1992 United States of America Olympic Men’s Basketball Dream Team.

More from Ball Durham

While the episodes never truly focused on Christian Laettner’s involvement with the team and his role on the team, before the airing of the documentary, fans were causing an uproar on social media that the former Blue Devil was on the team.

However, the decision was made that at least one amateur player would be included on the squad since the Olympics had previously only been for amateur players despite the best NBA stars heading to the games for the USA in 1992.

Fans thought that Shaquille O’Neal should have been on the team instead of Laettner, solely because of how the professional careers of the two players have played out and their distaste for the Duke legend.

Even O’Neal thought otherwise, making comments in the past that Laettner deserved to be on the team over him.

ALSO READ: Blue Devil fans should enjoy ‘The Last Dance’

Christian Laettner was the most decorated college basketball player at the time, and perhaps still is, some of which include making every Final Four in his collegiate career, a two-time National Champion, the consensus National Player of the Year and First Team All-American in 1992, the ACC Player of the Year in 1992, a two-time ACC Athlete of the Year, and the USA Basketball Player of the Year in 1991.

On the 1992 Dream Team, Laettner averaged 4.8 points per game as the Americans went on to win the Gold Medal in dominant fashion for what many consider the best basketball team ever assembled.

ALSO READ: Ranking all 40 Duke teams under Coach K

Christian Laettner’s NBA career certainly wasn’t as prolific and memorable as Shaq’s, but there should be no debating who deserved the amateur spot on the 1992 Dream Team. There was no other choice than Christian Laettner.