Blog Entry

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:40 pm
 


By Matt Moore


Here's a fun one. Let's take the greatest collection of NBA talent ever assembled, based on production, historical legacy, the convenient exaggeration provided by time, and "Oh My God" factor of ability and then throw them up against the 2008 version of that team, hampered by a lack of said historical perspective, the absence of the greatest player of all time, coming just months after arguably the three greatest players eligible to play for said team were eliminated in embarassing fashion. How does that work out? 

In short order, the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team, AKA "The Dream Team" was better than the 2008 U.S. Olympic Men's Basketball Team, AKA "The Redeem Team."

Shocking, I know.

But that's the story today, straight from the point guard's mouth, as Magic Johnson spoke about the team and how it compares to the most recent squad. Video courtesy of the L.A. Times, along with the subsequent quote from the Magic Man:

 
"When you think about the Olympics and the Dream Team, I have to throw it to you," Johnson said. "Kobe [Bryant] and them won by 22 points. Ehh, 22 points? We won by an average of 44 points. So when they want to step up to that, you tell them we'll be waiting on them."
via Magic Johnson discusses Dream Team's superiority to Redeem Team - latimes.com.

Well, then, Earvin. Way to go out on a limb.

Johnson's right, of course. But using margin of victory? That's a pretty thin construct. Jack McCallum used a much better system for establishing Dream Team I's dominance.  There's any number of ways to prove it. But margin of victory? The international basketball community is quite a bit better now than it was back in '92 and if you want proof of that take a look at the Gasol brothers and the Finals MVP. But beyond that? The ability to run it up should never be used to determine the gap between two clubs. It's an insignificant detail and Magic, who came from an era that focused on wins and losses more than statistical production far more than the balance does now should be aware that the scoreboard doesn't always tell the story. 

At the same time... come on. Jordan. Magic. Bird. And whether it's a lack of perspective due to recency, the glorified impact of legacy for those players as undisupted Hall of Famers while Kobe Bryant is still writing his story, let alone the younger crew on Redeem Team '08, the fact remains. Primacy. The first to come will always make the greatest impact. There will be those who will always say Russell or Wilt was better than Shaq or Hakeem (and they probably were, based on all the evidence they have) simply based on their appearance coming sooner in the collective history of the sports. And so every Dream Team will live in the first's shadow, just as every talented perimeter player will live in Jordan's.

It's a no-win proposition, but hey. It makes for a fun story to think about on a slow day.

And no matter how you feel about it, Bird checking James and vice versa sounds like a fun watch.  
Comments

Since: Aug 27, 2011
Posted on: August 27, 2011 11:36 am
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

The 2008 Beijing Redeem Team had a scoring run of 15-0 (excluding technical foul shots) in 4 minutes time against a Germany team with a 1-4 tournament record.  They won the game by 49.

The 1992 Barcelona Dream Team had a scoring run of 46-0 (excluding technical foul shots) in 13 minutes time against an Angola team with a 2-5 tournament record. Their halftime lead was 48.

Don't ask me what my point is and I might let you live.



Since: Nov 23, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2011 7:01 pm
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

Come on...the '92 Dream Team would have the Redeem Team looking clueless on the court.  The Redeem Team would have flashy plays with Lebron James dunks and D-Wade's moves, but the original Dream Team would score alot more effortlessly.  <br />  The Dream Team had better and more consistant shooters, played WAY better defense, more team oriented, and had more fight in them.  The Dream Team had the best shooter of ALL TIME Larry Bird, the greatest playmaker and leader ever in Jordan, a non-selfish Magic, then you throw in tough as snails (and scary to play against) Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing, the Admiral, Scottie Pippen (greatest all around player ever), the Stockton and Malone duo, and more.  The 'and more' meaning all time great shooter Chris Mullin, and 'Clyde the glide.'  If not for sorry Christian Laettner making the team over Shaq, Shaq wouldve been on the team.  A young Shaq, playing with these guys...<br />  Not to mention the fact that the Dream Team had MUCH better natural big men.  Neither Ewing, Barkley, nor Robinson would allow too much of the stuff that goes on in todays NBA paint.  <br />  All in all both were good teams, but putting the two against each other is a no contest.  When you calculate the size, defense, shooting ability, and team mindset, the Dream Team is the winner hands down. 




Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:26 am
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

@GreenFingers, you forgot Kobe. I'm not the biggest Kobe fan out there, not even close, but the guy is a Killer with the capital "K"..he still plays for the U.S. team so I would mention him as well.



Since: Mar 7, 2007
Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:22 am
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

I really don't like the way Magic put it..first off, I don't like the way he talks down on the '08 team because, unlike some previous teams, this team played with class and respected the opponents, not to mention the players who were part of this team were not forced to be there..they decided on their own to give up their summers to bring the gold medal back. So they should deserve to be commanded for that rather than blasted. If Magic really wants to talk down on other U.S. teams, then maybe he should blast the '02 team or the '04 team or even the '06 team that ended up 3rd in the '06 World Championship, not the '08 team that gave it all and showed previous teams how things should get done.

Secondly, while Magic may be right about the '92 team being better, using the margin of victory as proof is pretty weak since right now the international basketball community got so much better compared to '92..for further proof, just check the many international players in the NBA and how much stronger they make their respective national teams.



Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 9:53 pm
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

You are missing one thing though. The Redeem team played together for a longer period of time. I still think the 92 team would win a 7 game series but it would be 4-3 and not 4-0,4-1 that some people are saying.

You just cannot put together the best players and expect them to gel. But the lack of outside shooting for the 08 team would ultimately cost them. 



Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: August 5, 2011 9:36 pm
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

You gotta love Magic stating the obvious.  There was only one dream team, all others are imitators.



Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: August 5, 2011 7:47 pm
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

The 1992 was one of the most dominate teams to play in the Olympics. The margin of victory was just one of the reasons that make this team unforgettable. The team was put together to regain the status in basketball that was lost by the United States in Olympic basketball.

Other countries were sending their country top players which included their players that played in their professional leagues in Europe. The United States were still sending the top collegiate players voted onto the Olympic team.

The other part of the puzzle was that the same players that played in the World Games might not be the same ones that played on the Olympic team, therefore there no chemistry were on most of these teams from the college ranks.

Since this was a fact the Dream Team was on a mission and that was to prove to the world that the United States possessed the best basketball players by a far, we just were not sending them to the Olympic games.

Now the question as to which of the teams would beat the crap out of the other the Dream Team of 1992 or the Redemption Team of 2008?  I have nothing against Kobe, Wade, Lebron, Boss, Kidd or any other players that was on the Redemption Team, however there were only two player with killer instinct on this team were Kobe and Dewayne. I think Kobe would hold the dribble the ball as history has proven so as to take the last shot and would not pass the ball. Dewayne would also try to drive for the final shot.

On the Dream Team you had at least 3 players that would be ready willing and able to take the last shot. The Magic Man, Of Course Michael Jordan as well as Larry Legend. These guys also played the team concept of basketball. You could not zero in on one of the players because even though Magic was one that wanted the ball to take the winning shot he was one of the great assist players the game has had an would  have passed the ball if there was  no shot. He was the career assist leader before Nash broke the record. Michael was a great shooter and wanted the ball also and could drive on you with the blinking of your eye. We all know that Larry Bird was a winner and wanted to win under any condition possible. He would not pass up the last shot if he had it though he would not be afraid to pass it to Magic or Michael on either side of the basket.

      
My vote is for the Dream Team of 1992.

“ONE MAN’S OPINION”





Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: August 5, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

I realize that people are going to say that the avg margin of victory ,Dream Team 44 to Redeam Team 22 was also due to the countries haing better players and coaches. Which is true...but other countries evolved in large part to what the original Dream Team showed in talent to other countries as well as show casing the NBAs' true superstar talents. Some of you responding to this if you were priviledged to actually see the games telecasted live should remember two things...Magic and Bird were not in their prime ,2nd one collegiate player was chosen who happened to be Christian Laettner,who many at the time were disappointed Shaquille O'neal from LSU was not chosen. I believe Shaq and players from both teams played in their primes  today the Dream Team would beat the Redeam team by an avg of 15-20pts a game.

Dream Team     &
nbsp;     
      
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     Redeam Team

Center     
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;   Center

David Robinson 7' 1"    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      Dwight Howard 6' 11"

Patrick Ewing   7'1"    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      
;   Chris Bosh  6' 10 "

Forward    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;   Forward

Larry Bird     &
nbsp;  6' 9 "     
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     Lebron James   6' 8"

Karl Malone   6' 9"    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      
;  Carmelo Anthony 6' 8 "

Charles Barkley 6' 7"    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
     Carlos Boozer  6' 9 "

Scottie Pippin   6'  7"    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
     Taysh
aun Prince 6' 9"

Guards

Magic Johnson 6' 9"    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      
; Dwyane Wade   6' 4"

Micheal Jordan 6' 6"    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      
; Kobe Bryant    6' 7"

John Stockton  6' 1"    &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
      Chris Paul     &
nbsp;  6' 0"

Chris Mullin  6' 7 "     
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp;     &n
bsp;     &
nbsp;     
   Deron Williams  6' 3"

Christian Leattner(Shaq) 6' 10 "     
;     &nbs
p;     &nb
sp; Micheal Redd    6' 6"


You can't score if you don't rebound or play defense.....




Since: Mar 11, 2007
Posted on: August 5, 2011 6:21 pm
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08

I have to totally agree with both you sir and  Magic. No doubt about in a seven game series between the 92 and 08 it would be a sweep.



Since: Feb 5, 2009
Posted on: August 5, 2011 6:16 pm
 

Original Team Was a Dream!!

Have to agree with Magic.  And it's not really even close.  The original Dream Team was by far and away the best.  I think the original Dream Team would also sweep the new version in a 7 game series.  People seem to forget just how good and how dominant Michael, Magic and Bird were in their prime.  When people claim that Lebron can play 5 positions they must be forgetting that Magic won a championship as a rookie playing center.  Unbelievable!!  And the new dream team also doesn't have the competitive drive that the original did.  Jordan, Magic and Bird were stone cold killers on the court.  Sorry, but Lebron, Wade and Durant are nice guys, but not killers.  The only new dream team member that is a killer is D. Rose and he didn't get any real opportunity with the new dream team.  Wait 'til next Olympics.  He will dominate. 



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