For Clyde Drexler, the quintessential Monaco moment with the original Dream Team happened on a golf course as he was playing 18 holes with Charles Barkley and David Robinson using clubs borrowed from Michael Jordan.

“The vertically of that course was off the charts, and when we got to the 15th or 16th hole, Charles needed to sit down and take a break. So Charles sat on a bench at the tee box, and behind him was a small gate and a 100-foot dropoff down a cliff. He didn’t see it. It was steep.

“I said, ‘Hey Charles, you sure you want to trust that bench?’” Drexler recalled with a laugh in recounting some of his favorite Dream Team moments. “Let me tell you, he popped off that bench real quick.”

Drexler was one of 11 NBA players on the 1992 Olympic team, the first time professionals were permitted to play in the world’s premiere sporting event. Chapter and verse has been written and spoken about the exploits of the Dream Team, but not much of that history has come from Drexler, who rarely grants interviews.

But Drexler agreed to speak with Legends Magazine as part of the lead-up to the 2024 Paris Olympics, at which the United States will be fielding another superteam – this one with several older players just like the 1992 team. When the Americans start competing for the gold medal in Paris, LeBron James will be 39, Steph Curry will be 36, Kevin Durant will be 35, Jrue Holiday will be 34, Kawhi Leonard will be 33 and Anthony Davis will be 31. Comparisons to the best USA Basketball teams ever – the 1992 Dream Team and the 2008 Redeem Team among them – are inevitable.

“I think they are going to run the table,” Drexler said. “I would be highly disappointed if they lost a game.”

Drexler and the original Dream Team steamrolled the competition in 1992, first at the Tournament of the Americas in Drexler’s home NBA city of Portland, then in Monaco on a pre-Olympic stopoff, then in Barcelona when they defeated Toni Kukoc and Croatia for the gold medal after crushing the competition in the preliminary round, the quarterfinals and the semifinals.

Drexler fondly recalled the team’s first-ever game against Cuba when players from the Caribbean island were snapping photographs of themselves from the bench during the game because of the legendary status of the players they were competing against. Aside from Drexler, Jordan, Barkley and Robinson, the Dream Team included Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen and Christian Laettner.

“Some of those players from the East had never been cheered in Portland, which rolled out the red carpet for the team, and those guys got to enjoy restaurants, water sports, golf, concerts. It was a real bonding experience for the team, and the crowd in Portland really showed up,” Drexler said. “In that arena (Memorial Coliseum), they were close to you, right on top of you, and with the Blazers, they were our Sixth Man.”

The Dream Team also spent time in San Diego playing against a team of college players in what has been described as some of the most competitive scrimmages ever held, including one in which head coach Chuck Daly purposely messed with his substitutions in order to have his team lose – just to prepare them for the unpredictability of the international game.

From San Diego the team traveled to Monaco, the Mediterranean principality known as the playground of the rich. The Olympic team was feted at a state dinner at a medieval castle with the country’s royal family, played high-stakes card and dice games at Monaco’s casino, enjoyed the European beach factor that Barkley was fond of recalling, played golf and spent money.

“I was blown away by the elevation of Monaco, everything was vertical. On top of it being very expensive – more like three times what you would pay in the United States – people were so nice. We got to know the locals, and the place was absolutely awesome,” Drexler said. “I hadn’t been there before and I haven’t been there since.”

From there, it was on to Barcelona, with the team staying in a hotel rather than the Olympic Village because of the rockstar factor.

Since it was the first time that NBA players had competed in the Olympics, the players were larger than life figures who had crowds assembled outside their hotel at all hours of the day and night.

“Great security,” Drexler recalls. “We even had helicopters, and you would have sworn we were military ambassadors or diplomats.”

The Americans defeated Angola by 68 points in their opener, then watched Jordan and Pippen target Kukoc defensively in a 33-point victory over Croatia. They defeated Germany by 43, Brazil by 44 and Spain by 41 before reaching the knockout round, where Puerto Rico went down by 38, Lithuania by 51 and Croatia by 32 in the gold-medal game.

The games were must-see TV back in the United States and around the world, and the popularity of the Dream Team is credited with leading to the international explosion of basketball. Several generations of European players have said their inspiration for trending toward basketball rather than soccer was the legendary status of the Dream Team, which is considered the greatest assemblage of NBA talent ever put together.

Even today, 32 years after the fact, stories about the Dream Team and how they changed the global game have a special place in the oral and written history of basketball.

For Drexler, the ultimate Olympic moment did not come while eating the world’s best paella or touring medieval cathedrals or on the medal stand when the competition was finished, but rather what he experienced at the Estadi Olimpic de Montjiuc during the Opening Ceremony.

“I never thought I would participate in an Olympics, so the moment that struck me the most was when we had on our Team USA clothes and hats. The whole team was there, and you look around and see all the athletes from the other countries, the best athletes in the world, and to be a part of that was a very special moment in time,” he said. “That team, with all of the great players and great guys, was special. I would go to war with that group any time.”

The 2024 team will experience something similar at the Opening Ceremony in Paris, but no team will ever experience what Drexler and his teammates went through since they were the first NBA players to break the no-professionals-allowed barrier – a change that came about after the United States finished third at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

In the years since, there have been numerous highs and lows, and it remains to be seen whether the newest superteam can be as dominant as the 1992 squad. Chances are they will not, because several competing nations now field teams led by NBA superstars.

The dynamics surrounding the original Dream Team will never be matched, and it should be noted that Drexler and Barkley are around to recall those moments because Clyde warned Charles about a slippery slope right behind him at a golf course in Monaco.