In 1992, arguably the greatest collection of all-star basketball talent ever assembled came together to represent the U.S. in the Olympics and win gold.
They were called the Dream Team, some of pro basketball biggest legends all on one team. To this date, there has never been a larger collection of all-star talent put on one team. Every member of that team is now in the NBA Hall of Fame.
Fast forward 20 years and Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA’s greatest players and definite future NBA Hall of Fame inductee was asked how the 2012 Olympic roster would match up with the original 1992 Dream Team. Bryant made a bold statement.
“Well, just from a basketball standpoint, they obviously have a lot more size than we do — you know, with (David) Robinson and (Patrick) Ewing and (Karl) Malone and those guys,” Bryant told Yahoo Sports at Team USA’s training camp in Las Vegas earlier this week. “But they were also, some of those wing players, a lot older, at kind of the end of their careers. We have just a bunch of young racehorses, guys that are eager to compete. So I don’t know. It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out.”
Take your time. I read it twice too. I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t misconstruing the message that Bryant was trying to convey to fans.
My initial thoughts were like many who witnessed the Michael Jordan-era and the original Dream Team, ‘Bryant couldn’t have been serious,’ I thought, ‘somebody dared him to say that. I know he was young when that Dream Team took to the court and created sports history.’
I don’t think that the 92 team was unbeatable, but if there was such a thing as basketball perfection on the court, that was the closest I’ve ever seen.
What a spectacle it would be if there were a way that these two teams could face off. I suspect that it would be a great game, but in the end it would be much like David coming off of Tommy John surgery to face Goliath. Even if they played a best of seven series, I still think it would be a four-game sweep in favor of the original Dream Team.
I’m not upset or think Bryant was trying to be arrogant. As a matter a fact, I applaud him for making the statement and more importantly, believing in it.
Bryant is the leader of the 2012 Olympic basketball team. It is big news because of what he said already, but it would have been horrific news if he had said that his team had no chance.
Even if I think there is no chance that the 2012 Olympic basketball team could’ve ever beaten the 1992 team, I’m grateful that Bryant stepped up, without hesitation, and in championship form answered just like he did. A winner.