For those who don't know Oscar Schmidt it was his performance against American college players like David Robinson and Danny Manning in the 1987 Pan American Games in the US against Team USA that was probably THE reason to start the Dream Team and begin to include NBA players on Team USA in the Olympics and all international competitions.
Schmidt's team was supposed to lose huge and was in the game at halftime with Schmidt putting up 11 at halftime. He then did what he did his whole career and became on fire in the 2nd half putting up 35 points in the half to beat Team USA in America, an unheard of accomplishment.
Schmidt was an elite outside shooter that shot volume 3 pointers in an era where if you took 3 threes a game that was a lot. In that game against Team USA he scored 46 points on 7-15 shooting from three.
7-15 from three. In 1987. Basketball like that in the USA didn't happen. Team USA losing at international competitions didn't happen. This loss raised huge concerns about having college kids play in the Olympics.
Then in 1988 America lost to the Soviets and got just a bronze medal. This, alongside Schmidt's torching of Team USA the year prior created the Dream Team
During the knockout round in those 1988 Olympics, the team that gave the Soviets their toughest game wasn't the Americans. It was Schmidt and the Brazilians when Schmidt dropped 41 on the gold medal winning team in the first round of the knockout round. Schmidt in that 8 game Olympic run averaged 42 points and 8 rebounds a game.
That Schmidt has gotten no love in the poll but massively inferior players have astounds me.
You and I clearly have very similar memories of international basketball during the 80s & 90s because again, I totally agree with your take.
Schmidt would have been my second choice behind Arvydas. I can understand folks picking Hakeem due to his being more familiar to them, but I can't understand any of the other choices being taken over Oscar.
I have vivid memories of his dismantling of Team USA.
Mind you, Oscar was just so annoying to play against, he was the kind of player you just hated on the other team. Reminded me of Ric Barry. But, like with Barry, the reason you hated him because he was just so [dang] good. And he was inspirational to Brazillian fans. Never quit. Never blinked. Didn't give an inch to the supposedly superior Team USA. Just shot dagger after dagger.