I highly recommend the recent ESPN 30-for-30 digital short Silver Reunion which includes all 12 members of the 1972 USA Olympic Basketball team. The episode focuses on the continuing refusal by the players to accept silver medals after the controversial conclusion to the gold medal game. Unfortunately, this otherwise excellent documentary contains an inaccuracy.
At the 2:02 mark, the film displays a graphic which incorrectly states that the 1972 Olympic basketball games were played without a shot clock. Right after this, Doug Collins comments on the late game situation and perpetuates this myth which he has repeatedly done over the years.
The Olympics have always been played under international (FIBA) rules. FIBA introduced a 30-second shot clock in 1956 and that rule was indeed in effect for the 1972 games. The reason the USSR didn't try to run out the clock entirely on that possession was to avoid a shot clock violation. The 30-second clock also explains why the USA didn't attempt to foul a Soviet player as time was running out.
In September, Ken Pomeroy wrote an intriguing retrospective on 40th anniversary of this game where he also pointed out the shot clock rule, the faulty memory of Collins, and the staggering fact that announcers Frank Gifford and Bill Russell never once mentioned the shot clock during the entire ABC telecast. Perhaps that omission contributes as much to this longstanding myth as anything.