The Men’s olympic basketball team, dubbed The Dream Team since 1992, has won 4 of the last 5 Gold medals and dominated the competition for the better part of 20 years. It all began with the 1992 dream team, consisting of the likes of Jordan, Ewing, Pippen, Drexler, and Magic and Bird together at last. It was a huge national moment, one that may not be seen again for a long time. The team routed each country with an average winning score of over 40 points.
They are thought to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, team ever assembled in any sport. However, Kobe Bryant has recently claimed that his 2012 squad could defeat Jordan’s 1992 squad. Below are the top four reasons Kobe Bryant is full of crap.
Dwayne wade, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Chris Bosh, Blake Griffin, and Chauncey Billups were all too injured to play for The Dream Team. With all those players at top health, 2012 MAY have had a shot. However, it would be unfair to compare then. Larry Bird was hurt in 1992. Clyde Drexler was aging, and Magic Johnson was virtually retired. You cannot compare the Dream Teams if you are picking and choosing injuries, and must simply play them how they are.
3. 1992 Meant More
The 1992 Olympics were the first chance to play professional basketball players on the Men’s USA team. It was an event. Nothing like that had ever happened before, and it was new and exciting for every basketball fan in the country. The best of the best could finally compete with the rest of the world. By 2012, it’s simply expected. Making the Olympics team is like getting voted to an all star team. Which is not the players’ fault, especially those like Kobe Bryant and Lebron James. who take competing for their country with the utmost seriousness. It is just a matter of timing, we have had Dream Teams for 20 years now, they are not only expected to be the best, but take home the gold every year with a complete shellacking of every other country.
Saying the NBA is a tad softer 20 years later is not a matter of criticism but a matter of fact. The 80’s pistons with Isiah Thomas would never dream of fouling Jordan or Pippen, the NBA’s biggest money makers, in 2012. They would be fouled out of that game, with a few technicals to boot. Less contact is allowed, it has just been an evolution of the game. For instance, Meta World Peace’s unintentional foul on James Harden that had him suspended several games. That probably would not have been anything more than a foul in 1992. The Dream Team of ‘92 would be playing much harder and faster, with much more contact. If the foul rules of 20 years ago were in place, every 2012 player would be flopping, waiting in vain for a foul that just won’t come.
Kobe is no Michael Jordan. Neither is Durant, or Lebron, and especially not Carmelo Anthony or Derrick Rose. Michael Jordan had a megalomaniacal need to win, that made him an apparently difficult human being, but the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan in his prime was unguardable, and scored at will. Some say down the line, Lebron James could reach that point. The potential is there, but the drive may not be. Jordan alone is a weapon that almost guarantees a victory, and would certainly be a tiebreaker in any Dream Team battle.