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Kobe Bryant Suggests 2012 U.S. Team Could Beat 1992 ‘Dream Team' what do you think?

Kobe Bryant Suggests 2012 U.S. Team Could Beat 1992 ‘Dream Team' what do you think?

I'm not entirely sure that an almost 33 year old Magic Johnson who hadn't played professional basketball in over a year was better than any of the PGs on the 2012 team. If I took a stab at naming the 12 best players from a combination of these two teams at the time they played on the Olympic Team, it would probably be...

1) Michael Jordan
2) LeBron James
3) Kevin Durant
4) David Robinson
5) Kobe Bryant
6) Scottie Pippen
7) Karl Malone
8) Charles Barkley
9) Chris Paul
10) John Stockton
11) Deron Williams
12) Patrick Ewing
  • AmpLee
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Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by AmpLee:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by AmpLee:
Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by AmpLee:
Originally posted by drunk49er:
Originally posted by AmpLee:
Of course they could beat the Dream Team. The context the statement was made had nothing to do with whether Kobe thought this team was better, but instead whether he thought they could beat them. International basketball has grown leaps and bounds since the Dream Team played in the Olympics and comparing scores is pointless.

that is a fair point, but the dream team would win 8-9/10 games

this team severely lacks size, so the dream team would just have to roll out their big guys and get them the ball on the block and get the 2012 team into some serious foul trouble, then it's over. i think it would be a good game, but honestly the 2008 team would have a better shot against the dream team.


I agree that the dream team was better, but I don't think it's because it was some Golden age in basketball. I think if the US were to have Howard and Bynum on the team along with some other guys that are missing out, it would be a much more evenly matched squad.

I disagree. Even if you add Bynum and Dwight - the only two players to make it in to that dream team would be Kobe and Lebron. Durant may make it, but it will be tough to take him over Lebron, Pippen, and Bird...and Durant is clearly the 2nd best player in the league today. From the current team, only Lebron will start on the 1992 dream team.

So, it's hard to argue that it was anything but the Golden Age of basketball.

So you'd rather have Laettner or Mullen over Durant? I think Paul is easily on par with Stockton and Magic (at that point). If Howard and Bynum were playing, I think they'd be on par with Robinson and Ewing (Bynum might not be there fully yet, but he he's not far away). I'm not saying that team wasn't epic, but c'mon the romanticism of that era is a little ridiculous. Kobe's age is definitely a factor, but I think Paul, Lebron, Durant, and Howard would be reasonable to argue for competing for starting spots on the original dream team. Remember, Magic and Bird were at their last waning days as players, and while they were still good, I'd take Paul and Durant in their primes every day of the week.

If you add Kobe and Lebron - you would have to add them in place of Laettner and Mullen. So, no place for Durant.

Stockton >>>> Paul. Easy. Stockton's defense alone places him way in front of Paul. The only reason Howard actually dominates in the NBA today is because he doesn't have to go up against another quality Center. So many teams play PFs at Centers. I'll take Ewing and Robinson over Howard.

Only Lebron and Kobe will make the 92 dream team...and Durant will have an outside chance if you want to go with an extra SF...or go with Durant over Bird. That's it. There are no other players on the current dream team who would make that team. None.

I'll take
Kobe over Drexler
Durant over Bird (easily at this point in Bird's career)
Lebron over Pippen
Love over Laettner
Melo over Mullin

I'd consider
Dwight over Ewing (Ewing was the better all around player but Dwight is much better running the floor and playing high above the rim)

It's hard to argue having Paul over Magic or Stockton but I think Chris Paul will be a no brainer hall of famer after he retires and will command the same romanticism as other great PGs do. But I couldn't put him ahead of either.

So by my count, there's five current guys on our Olympic team that would be an improvement at similar positions on the dream team.

So you'll leave out Pippen and Drexler for Love and Melo? C'mon.

The only reason Love is even on the current team is because of lack of bigs. If Dwight or Bynum were healthy - Love wouldn't have made the team.


Kevin Love had one of the finest offensive seasons we've seen from a PF in quite some time. Let me remind you that Sir Charles was also a below average defender. I have no problem if you want to put Pippen back in for Melo, but I could easily argue Love in there for Charles. The point is it's not so cut and dry that the Dream Team was soooo much better that we can't even fathom this team which boasts quite a few future hall-of-famers beating them in a game.
  • SoCold
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win the gold first then we'll talk
I know this has been mentioned before, but we have to always keep this in mind. The 92 team had a damn cake walk. No competition at the time. That team has a lot of legends, so of course they get the notoriety. But, the team was old and slow. Hard to really tell their true level of greatness because of their age and competition level.
You guys are still arguing this?
  • 4ML
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Originally posted by AmpLee:
Kevin Love had one of the finest offensive seasons we've seen from a PF in quite some time. Let me remind you that Sir Charles was also a below average defender. I have no problem if you want to put Pippen back in for Melo, but I could easily argue Love in there for Charles. The point is it's not so cut and dry that the Dream Team was soooo much better that we can't even fathom this team which boasts quite a few future hall-of-famers beating them in a game.

Love has done it for 1 season...at that point in his career, Charles had done it for several years...and again, Love plays against Centers who are below average. Barkley went up against great Centers and PFs and dominated. There is quite a difference.

Of course, I do think if the current dream team has Dwight Howard and Bynum - they can win couple of games in a 7 game series. I just don't think the quality is there in today's NBA at the very top. We have great top 3-4 players that can match the best players in any generation...but the 80s and 90s had the best top 15 players, so the quality at the very top was amazing - which is why it was called the Golden Era.
The best possible US team in 1992:

Thomas
Stockton
Jordan
Drexler
Pippen
Wilkins
Mullin
Malone
Barkley
Robinson
Ewing
Shaq (if there had to be a college player; otherwise, Dumars)
[ Edited by dobo on Aug 6, 2012 at 2:57 PM ]
  • AmpLee
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Originally posted by 49ersMyLife:
Originally posted by AmpLee:
Kevin Love had one of the finest offensive seasons we've seen from a PF in quite some time. Let me remind you that Sir Charles was also a below average defender. I have no problem if you want to put Pippen back in for Melo, but I could easily argue Love in there for Charles. The point is it's not so cut and dry that the Dream Team was soooo much better that we can't even fathom this team which boasts quite a few future hall-of-famers beating them in a game.

Love has done it for 1 season...at that point in his career, Charles had done it for several years...and again, Love plays against Centers who are below average. Barkley went up against great Centers and PFs and dominated. There is quite a difference.

Of course, I do think if the current dream team has Dwight Howard and Bynum - they can win couple of games in a 7 game series. I just don't think the quality is there in today's NBA at the very top. We have great top 3-4 players that can match the best players in any generation...but the 80s and 90s had the best top 15 players, so the quality at the very top was amazing - which is why it was called the Golden Era.


Love had an amazing year the year prior too. If, and I say if, he keeps up what he's done the last two years and improves his defense, he'll be a no-brainer for hall of fame. But that's obviously jumping the gun and any number of things can happen between now and when his career is over.

I think the problem with most people, is it's easy to judge a team in retrospect based on their hall-of-fame credentials, and harder to judge than based on currently looking at the guys. For example, I think if we were to look at this team in retrospect and a guy like Love has a hall of fame career, we'd be more inclined to talk about how great of a player he was in the same way we look at some of the guys on the Dream Team. We often judge these guys based on their entire career instead of where they were at a certain point in their career.

Aside from that, I agree that the Dream Team is better than the current team, largely because of our bigs, even if Howard and Bynum were included. That being said, this is still an argument regarding a statement made about whether this current team could beat them. Of course they could.
  • AmpLee
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Originally posted by dobo:
The best possible US team in 1992:

Thomas
Stockton
Jordan
Drexler
Pippen
Wilkins
Mullin
Malone
Barkley
Robinson
Ewing
Shaq (if there had to be a college player; otherwise, Dumars)


Shaq was so dominant out of college, he'd be a shoe-in in retrospect. How could you really know though. We might say the same thing about Anthony Davis right now but it would be hard to determine. That team would have been ridiculously stacked though, but so would our current team if the best players were there. It sure would be fun to watch.
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
I'm not entirely sure that an almost 33 year old Magic Johnson who hadn't played professional basketball in over a year was better than any of the PGs on the 2012 team. If I took a stab at naming the 12 best players from a combination of these two teams at the time they played on the Olympic Team, it would probably be...

1) Michael Jordan
2) LeBron James
3) Kevin Durant
4) David Robinson
5) Kobe Bryant
6) Scottie Pippen
7) Karl Malone
8) Charles Barkley
9) Chris Paul
10) John Stockton
11) Deron Williams
12) Patrick Ewing

Fun list, though I think you have Barkley too low. Charles would go on to win the MVP and take his team to the Finals in the coming year, going toe to toe with MJ for Best Player Alive honors.

1) Mike.
2) Lebron
3) Durant
4) Barkley
5) Kobe
6) Scottie
7) Robinson
8) Paul
9) Mailman
10) Melo
11) Ewing
12) Drexler
Carmelo would not make the team if you were to combine the 2
Originally posted by AmpLee:
Originally posted by dobo:
The best possible US team in 1992:

Thomas
Stockton
Jordan
Drexler
Pippen
Wilkins
Mullin
Malone
Barkley
Robinson
Ewing
Shaq (if there had to be a college player; otherwise, Dumars)


Shaq was so dominant out of college, he'd be a shoe-in in retrospect. How could you really know though. We might say the same thing about Anthony Davis right now but it would be hard to determine. That team would have been ridiculously stacked though, but so would our current team if the best players were there. It sure would be fun to watch.

The Dream?
Originally posted by TheGoldStandard:
Fun list, though I think you have Barkley too low. Charles would go on to win the MVP and take his team to the Finals in the coming year, going toe to toe with MJ for Best Player Alive honors.

1) Mike.
2) Lebron
3) Durant
4) Barkley
5) Kobe
6) Scottie
7) Robinson
8) Paul
9) Mailman
10) Melo
11) Ewing
12) Drexler

I could roll with that. The only thing I disagree on is Stockton not being there. He was a better player than either Melo or Drexler, IMO.

EDIT: I also have a real bias against PF's or C's that are s**tty defenders...probably moreso than their play justifies. Always thought Barkley was overrated, but you're right that at that time he was such a beast on the offensive end & boards that it made up for the other end.
[ Edited by LA9erFan on Aug 6, 2012 at 3:46 PM ]
  • AmpLee
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Originally posted by blizzuntz:
The Dream?

Not a citizen then.
Originally posted by LA9erFan:
I could roll with that. The only thing I disagree on is Stockton not being there. He was a better player than either Melo or Drexler, IMO.

EDIT: I also have a real bias against PF's or C's that are s**tty defenders...probably moreso than their play justifies. Always thought Barkley was overrated, but you're right that at that time he was such a beast on the offensive end & boards that it made up for the other end.

I'm suffering from Melo-maina after the 10 made 3s. Felt like I had to include him as he really has one of the great International careers of any USA player, but without question Stockton is the better all around player.

Drex is one my all-time favorites (wore the same #) and an all-time underrated guy. Not a lot of love for the 2nd best Shooting Guard when the number 1 Shooting Guard is Michael Jordan.

I can't think of a player who benefitted from the Olympic experience more than Barkley. He was a different animal on the Dream Team, one of the few guys who wouldn't bow to MJ and his level of play reflected that.