Mitchell & Ness Bring Back the Best of '92 With New Dream Team Collection

The Dream Team raised the bar for basketball, but that wasn't the only cultural shift in '92.

Mitchell & Ness Dream Team Collection

Mitchell & Ness Dream Team Collection

Mitchell & Ness Dream Team Collection

1992 will always be remembered as the year the Dream Team dominated competition in Barcelona, restoring the USA’s air of hardwood invincibility and truly expanding the game of basketball to a global audience.

It wasn’t just Michael, Magic and Bird who made waves in ‘92, though. The year was impactful right across the culture with big moves in music and sports.

In 2019, Mitchell & Ness are bringing back the best of 1992 with a new Dream Team collection, including jerseys, tees, warmups and more. Cop the collection now, and take a moment to get familiar with the many ways 1992 shaped the culture as we know it today.

Dr Dre Releases 'The Chronic' and Changes Hip-Hop

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Prior to ‘92, hip-hop had only a fleeting relationship with the west coast. In the late ‘80s, Ice-T emerged from LA’s electro scene to become, for a time, the nation’s nightmare walking. NWA picked up the baton and became the world’s most dangerous group before disbanding in 1991. Ice Cube and, to a lesser extent, King Tee, DJ Quik and Too Short were, to varying degrees, slowly breaking through on a national level. But hip-hop was still a New York thing. 

This all changed in December ‘92, when the now-solo Dr Dre dropped The Chronic. No longer working under Eazy-E and Jerry Heller, Dre was (for now) free to create at Death Row Records. Dre’s interpretation of Cold 187um’s new-found ‘G-Funk’ enveloped hip-hop in an inescapable fog; part hazy Los Angeles sunset, part weed smoke.

From there, it was a wrap. Dre, 2Pac, Snoop and Tha Dogg Pound went on to earn Death Row a reported 150 million dollars a year. Biggie & Puff studied The Chronic to create Ready To Die. Warren G’s Regulate … G-Funk Era saved Def Jam. Nate Dogg became the greatest hook guy in rap history. The Chronic took rap nationwide in 1992. By the time Doggystyle dropped the following year, it became a global phenomenon.

The Bulls Go Back to Back and Jordan Takes Over the League

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It’s all about The Shrug, but let’s set the scene here. The NBA had been in effect since 1947. Between that time and 1991, 28 of the 44 NBA Championships had been won by either the Lakers or the Celtics. 

The Magic & Bird era of the ‘80s had seen the league reach new heights, but with both superstars at the tail-end of their careers, the NBA needed a new face. The Pistons went back to back in ‘89 and ‘90, but Joe Dumars and Isaiah Thomas were hardly claiming the league as their own.

We know where this is going. Jordan and the Bulls took out Magic’s Lakers in ‘91 in an all-too-perfect passing of the torch. The following year, the Bulls made it official. When Jordan smoked the Trail Blazers for 39 points in Game One of the Finals, including knocking down a record 6 first-half three-pointers, there was no longer any question about it. The NBA was Jordan’s league, and a new dynasty was well under way.

‘Ooooooohhh... On The TLC Tip’ Introduces a Raw New Female Voice in R&B

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Yea yea look I know Salt N Pepa were already talking about sex in ‘91, but Salt N Pepa were a hip-hop act and, in the early ‘90s, social commentary was the norm for rap acts. 

Salt, Pepa and Spinderella kicked the door down, and TLC shimmied through in ‘92 to bring a sharper edge to what the world expected from a female R&B trio. The outfits were by Cross Colours and the snare was that same snare you heard on every other R&B track in the early ‘90s, but T-Boz, Chili and Left Eye were progressive in their content. Lyrically, “Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg” and “Baby Baby Baby” were sex-positive, and countered with Left Eye rocking condoms as fashion accessories in music videos.

When TLC followed up with CrazySexyCool in ‘94, that same safe sex message would inform “Waterfalls”, propelling TLC from a great R&B group to one of the most successful female music groups of all time. TLC’s combination of not only hip-hop and R&B, but also male and female fashion, redefined the way we perceived R&B groups, and laid down the blueprint for the genre throughout the rest of the decade.

The Dream Team Dominates in Barcelona and Changes International Basketball

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For years, the USA opted to keep professional basketball players away from international competition. But after being humbled with a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic Games, Team USA had a facelift. Gone were the college players (with the exception of Duke’s Christian Laettner) and instead, Team USA featured the best of the NBA. Michael, Magic, and Bird were joined by Barkley, Malone, Robinson, Ewing and more.

The Dream Team annihilated the competition in Barcelona and captivated the sporting world. The impact was instant, with more people around the world picking up the game, and the number of international players in the NBA growing continually since 1992. Basketball had been a part of Olympic competition since 1936, but in 1992, the Dream Team made it one of the Games’ prestige events.

In 2019, ahead of the upcoming Team USA tour, Mitchell & Ness have released a complete collection of Dream Team apparel. The collection includes authentic jerseys and shorts, shooting shirts, plus warmup jackets and pants, all using the exact specs and materials worn by the players in Barcelona.

You can cop the Mitchell & Ness Dream Team collection now at Glue, Throwback, Rebel Sport, Culture Kings and leading basketball specialty stores. For more info, check Mitchell & Ness on Instagram.

Mitchell & Ness Dream Team collection


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