There is sentiment in basketball circles that talk, of any sort, of another Olympic roster being good enough to challenge the 1992 Dream Team is complete foolishness. Well, Kobe Bryant decided to challenge that by stating that he feels this 2012 team could beat the Dream Team. That’s where the fun began.
Not only did Charles Barkley disagree with that, but he went on to say that only LeBron, Kobe and Kevin Durant would have made the 1992 team.
To take that a step further, Michael Jordan chimed in too. If there’s only person who will always defend his craft, it’s MJ:
Jordan told The Associated Press Thursday that he laughed – “I absolutely laughed” – when hearing Bryant’s comments that the squad training in Las Vegas could take Jordan and company.
Jordan said there’s “no comparison” which team is better.
“For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done,” Jordan said prior playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Charlotte.
“I heard Kobe say we were not athletic,” said a smiling Jordan as he sat in a golf cart puffing on his cigar while waiting to tee off. “But we were smart. He said we were too old, but I was 29 and in the prime of my career. Pip (Scottie Pippen) was 26 or 27, (Charles) Barkley was 29, Patrick (Ewing) was 29 and Chris Mullin was 29. Almost everybody was still in their twenties.”
“Most of us were in the prime of our careers, at a point where athleticism doesn’t really matter,” said Jordan, the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. “You have to know how to play the game.”
Jordan shook his head when asked why he thinks Bryant made the comments.
“I imagine he’s trying to say it to legitimize his own Dream Team,” Jordan said. “But to me it’s not even a question what team is better.”
Jordan said Bryant is certainly entitled to his opinion – even though he said it’s just plain wrong.
“For him to make that comparison, it’s one of those things where it creates conversation,” Jordan said. “I guess we’ll never know. I’d like to think that we had 11 Hall of Famers on that team and whenever they get 11 Hall of Famers you call and ask me who had the better Dream Team. Remember now, they learned from us. We didn’t learn from them.“
But what did you expect Kobe to say? He has to say this. I think he’s wrong, be he still should say it. In fact, I think the 2008 team was better than this 2012 team but the ’08 squad doesn’t get nearly enough credit for some reason.