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ATLANTA 1996 OLYMPICS | DAILY REPORT

Dream Team Eases Into Games

July 20, 1996|Reuters

A day before their first game and presumed first step to a gold medal, the Dream Team held a light-hearted practice on Friday highlighted by an eyes-closed foul-shooting contest.

Center Shaquille O'Neal, who on Thursday signed the richest salary package in sport, did not attend.

An NBA spokesman said O'Neal, who will be paid $120 million over seven years by the Lakers, was out of town on family business and was given permission by Coach Lenny Wilkens to skip the practice.

Little practice, however, was likely for the Americans' first game, against Argentina. Forward Grant Hill confessed: "I don't know anything about them, to tell you the truth."

About half the team took part in the eyes-closed contest at the foul line.

"I won some money, so that's good," Hill said.

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