Yes. If you haven’t figured it out, I was born in 1996. But even though that was four years before I was born this is a topical post that’s interesting to me so, moving on…
Who would win if the 1992 Dream Team squared off with the current chapter of the Men’s Olympic Basketball team?
We’ll never know of course. If we did know, then time machines would work and the magic of Back to the Future would be lost on us.
The one glaring difference between the teams is their respective post presences, or lack thereof. The Dream Team was stocked with Hall-of-Fame-worthy big men who dominated the paint: Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson led that elite group. While this year’s contingent is stocked with… Tyson Chandler. Similar, I know.
(The Secret Word is… Sarcasm)
While ’92 was more well rounded, with dominance at every position, the current team is more wing oriented and athletic. LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden and Andre Iguodala form a daunting group of wing players. They are fast, and athletic, they’ll run up the score and force turnovers on you at will. Plus, most of them are in their prime, or some stage of it. LeBron is probably at his best, if not nearing his best play. Kobe is coming off one of his better seasons. While Durant is just entering his prime years, and Harden and Iguodala are fresh off respective breakout years. Carmelo Anthony is pretty good too.
But can this team beat the Dream Team? One of the best, if not the best, team in sports history?
The wings would definitely cause the ’92 team a problem or two. Guys like Magic and Bird were at the tail end of their careers and might have issues guarding some of these guys. But the flipside to that is that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were in their prime. Two of the best defenders ever, I would certainly take them defensively over most, if not all, of the current guys.
So would the 2012 version of the Olympic Men’s National Basketball Team beat the 1992 version? No, they wouldn’t. I’m not even sure if 2012 could beat the 2008 version.