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Tag:Dream Team
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:44 am
Edited on: January 4, 2012 10:54 am
 

LeBron: 2012 team 'stacks up' with Dream Tream

Posted by Royce Young

There has never been any doubt that the 1992 Olympic team dubbed the Dream Team, is the greatest collection of basketball talent ever. They completely steamrolled everyone in their way and were even inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

And while there have been good American teams since, like 2008's Beijing roster or 1996's folllow-up team, there never has been a group quite like it. But LeBron James thinks the 20th anniversary team will compare. Via Fox Sports Florida:
"We can stack up with those guys," the Miami forward said.

[...]

"I agree," James said. "They set the standard for USA Basketball in '92 with all the great players they had. But we have some great ones as well. We have some Hall of Famers, some champions. So it's going to be a great (team)."

The only place you could ever find out is a video game, but here's an important note: The 2012 team has yet to win anything. And with the rest of the world pretty much caught up in talent with teams like Spain, France, Lithuania and others, awarding yourself a gold medal probably isn't the smartest thing. For the Americans to take home gold in London, they'll have to go through some good teams.

But for reference's sake, the Dream Team had Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Clyde Drexler, Christian Laettner and Chris Mullin. The 2012 roster isn't set, but will likely have LeBron, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Dwight Howard, Kevin Love, Chris Bosh and a few others.

Do they "stack up" as LeBron says? Absolutely. In terms of pure talent, the 2012 has an abundance of it. It's hard comparing the past to the present, because it's difficult to get past the greatness of players like Larry Bird and Magic Johnson and realize that guys like Durant and LeBron have comparable talents. Still, the '92 Dream Team dominated the world. The 2012 team has yet to play an exhibition. Reminds me of some other supposed "dream team"...

Don't go giving yourself not one, not two, not three, not four, not five gold medals before you've even practiced, LeBron. I figured you'd learned your lesson on that.

Posted on: August 5, 2011 2:40 pm
 

Magic says '92 Dream Team would crush '08



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.  
 
 
 
 
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