Sports writer compares Lakers to USA Olympic team

Another NBA "superteam," and more ridiculous comparisons

8/11/12 in NBA   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Aug 10, 2012; London, United Kingdom; USA guard Kobe Bryant (10) reacts during the men's basketball semifinals against Argentina in the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY SportsEvery time we see a team that looks like it's considerably better (or considerably worse) than the competition, it seems like ridiculous comparisons start coming out of the woodwork.

Some examples:
When the Lions went 0-16, some people were asking if some of the top 5 college teams could beat them. Clearly, the answer is no. Even the worst player on that Lions team was a star in college, and they would have absolutely wiped the floor with any college team.

Last year, people were asking if the Kentucky basketball team could beat the Charlotte Bobcats. Again, it's a stupid question. The Bobcats would have destroyed Kentucky 100 times out of 100. People pointed out that Kentucky had 2 lottery picks, 4 drafted in the first round, and 6 total players drafted. Yet they somehow forget that the Bobcats' roster included EIGHT guys who were drafted in the lottery. Let's be serious.

Recently, a popular debate has been whether or not the 2012 Olympic basketball team could beat the original Dream Team from 1992. We could debate it until the cows come home, but we'll never actually know, and there's really no valid way to compare the teams. The players are different, the level of competition is different, it's just a waste of time.

In an effort to become the next clever idiot to come up with a pointless comparison, Sacramento Bee sports editor Tom Couzens threw out this comparison: What would happen if the Los Angeles Lakers played the US Olympic team?

For starters, it's an exercise in futility. Again, we'll never truly know.

But in this case, we'll be able to make a pretty solid comparison, because we'll see the Lakers play teams that feature several US Olympic stars.

When they play (and lose to) the Thunder in the playoffs, can we just close the door on this one? The US Olympic team is basically the Thunder's "Big 3," minus all of the Thunder's crappy players, and then add in guys like LeBron, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, and other superstars.

The Lakers would get wrecked. To think otherwise, and to even ask the question, is the epitome of ignorance.

Congrats, Tom Couzens, you're an idiot.
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9/12/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

raymundo36 wrote:
its better that kobe is on the bench of lakers,,and not to play with nash and bynum,,because kobe lost he cannot accept it..his the player that gives his teamates gets a problem,,so better kobe at the bench when season 12 nba is starts

that is the dumbest most idiotic thing I have read on this site!  get a clue!

9/11/12   |   raymundo36

scquwi1 wrote:
Pat, you are so correct no way the Lakers would beat this team, as people would want to say the Olympic team lacks size, they went out and beat teams shooting and Bymun would have scored but not enough to keep the Lakers in it. As you pointed out OKC beat the Lakers when they were also undersized down low.

To say that a college team could not beat a pro team I will not agree look how the Orioles got beat at the end of pre-season. So anything could happen but in a 3 game season the chances are very slim of one pulling that upset.

saying that this team could beat the '92 team is crazy look at the championship game in the Olympics. This team did not penetrate against Spain. Really, what big stopper did they have on that team. All this stuff how the '92 team could not guard the '12 team is silly, they were better defensively them Spain was today and Spain lost by 7. The '92 played more as a team and would have done circles around the '12 team and we would not have wittiness dibble down and shoot first 92% of the time like the '12 team did.

I got off the point, but I do agree there is no way the Lakers would have had a chance all the team would be losing is Kobe. Even if the Lakers got Howard his offensive is not great, he is more of a defensive player and who knows how he would have played remember he got a bad back.

its better that kobe is on the bench of lakers,,and not to play with nash and bynum,,because kobe lost he cannot accept it..his the player that gives his teamates gets a problem,,so better kobe at the bench when season 12 nba is starts

8/13/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

PurrsAlot wrote:
I'm not comparing them to team usa i'm comparing them to the rest of the league. Westbrook in my humble opinion was a liability. Nash is smart and is licking his chops having Gasol, Howard and Kobe to dish to. We haven't seen the best of Nash yet. Nash has been outstanding with average to maybe 1 good player to dish too. He now has 3 future hall of famers to work with. Team USA is an cross section all star team. I simply contend the Laker starting 5 superior to the starting 5 of every NBA team out there at the moment. Why is going after the best players and getting them considered arrogant? Seems like a smart business move. Especially after David Stern cancelled the Chris Paul trade last year because he had a stakes in New Orleans. No one would have called Houston or Brooklyn arrogant for getting Dwight Howard. People love to hate the Lakers.

Well... the point of the post was that it's stupid to compare them to the Olympic team, so that's kinda where it all started.

As for the arrogance... it's not arrogant to try and get the best team possible. It's arrogant (imo) to act like the Lakers could beat Team USA, and to act insulted when someone says otherwise.

In other news, Pau Gasol isn't a future Hall of Famer. And at age 38, I really think we HAVE seen the best of Steve Nash. Even if he puts up better numbers now, he was still a better player in his early 30s.

8/13/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

Pat wrote:
His career numbers are great and everything, but 38-year old Steve Nash isn't the same guy as 2-time MVP Steve Nash from 6-7 years ago. Not saying he isn't a very good player, but remember... we're comparing the Lakers to Team USA, who has 3 point guards who are at least as good as Nash offensively, and perhaps better. Also, Nash is a complete liability on the defensive end.

Let's break it down:
PG: Nash vs CP3/Williams/Westbrook - We'll call it even, at best.
SG: Kobe vs Kobe - Even.
SF: Metta World Peace vs LeBron - HUGE advantage Team USA
PF: Gasol vs Durant - advantage Team USA
C: Howard vs Tyson Chandler - Advantage Lakers

Bench: Biggest advantage ever, Team USA.

Howard is really the only place the Lakers have any sort of advantage, and it's not even that much, because he's just OK offensively. Defensively he's great, but so is Chandler (last year's defensive player of the year).

Sorry, but Team USA is just a lot better than the Lakers. That's not an insult, it's just reality. Team USA is the best team on the planet right now. I think you could have Team USA play a team made up of the best remaining players in the world, and they would probably still win.

That's not a knock on the Lakers, and I have no idea how it makes ME arrogant, ESPECIALLY compared to Lakers fans who think their salary cap controlled NBA team could beat a team stacked with All-NBA first team players. I mean... who is really being arrogant here?

I'm not comparing them to team usa i'm comparing them to the rest of the league. Westbrook in my humble opinion was a liability. Nash is smart and is licking his chops having Gasol, Howard and Kobe to dish to. We haven't seen the best of Nash yet. Nash has been outstanding with average to maybe 1 good player to dish too. He now has 3 future hall of famers to work with. Team USA is an cross section all star team. I simply contend the Laker starting 5 superior to the starting 5 of every NBA team out there at the moment. Why is going after the best players and getting them considered arrogant? Seems like a smart business move. Especially after David Stern cancelled the Chris Paul trade last year because he had a stakes in New Orleans. No one would have called Houston or Brooklyn arrogant for getting Dwight Howard. People love to hate the Lakers.

8/13/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

Pat wrote:
His career numbers are great and everything, but 38-year old Steve Nash isn't the same guy as 2-time MVP Steve Nash from 6-7 years ago. Not saying he isn't a very good player, but remember... we're comparing the Lakers to Team USA, who has 3 point guards who are at least as good as Nash offensively, and perhaps better. Also, Nash is a complete liability on the defensive end.

Let's break it down:
PG: Nash vs CP3/Williams/Westbrook - We'll call it even, at best.
SG: Kobe vs Kobe - Even.
SF: Metta World Peace vs LeBron - HUGE advantage Team USA
PF: Gasol vs Durant - advantage Team USA
C: Howard vs Tyson Chandler - Advantage Lakers

Bench: Biggest advantage ever, Team USA.

Howard is really the only place the Lakers have any sort of advantage, and it's not even that much, because he's just OK offensively. Defensively he's great, but so is Chandler (last year's defensive player of the year).

Sorry, but Team USA is just a lot better than the Lakers. That's not an insult, it's just reality. Team USA is the best team on the planet right now. I think you could have Team USA play a team made up of the best remaining players in the world, and they would probably still win.

That's not a knock on the Lakers, and I have no idea how it makes ME arrogant, ESPECIALLY compared to Lakers fans who think their salary cap controlled NBA team could beat a team stacked with All-NBA first team players. I mean... who is really being arrogant here?

arrogance comes in the wording.

8/13/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

PurrsAlot wrote:
nash FG %  49.1
          3 pt FG%  42.8
         ranked 5th all time in  assists and still playing

his career speaks for itself
also nash now has gasol, kobe and howard to dish it to
the best is yet to come :)

His career numbers are great and everything, but 38-year old Steve Nash isn't the same guy as 2-time MVP Steve Nash from 6-7 years ago. Not saying he isn't a very good player, but remember... we're comparing the Lakers to Team USA, who has 3 point guards who are at least as good as Nash offensively, and perhaps better. Also, Nash is a complete liability on the defensive end.

Let's break it down:
PG: Nash vs CP3/Williams/Westbrook - We'll call it even, at best.
SG: Kobe vs Kobe - Even.
SF: Metta World Peace vs LeBron - HUGE advantage Team USA
PF: Gasol vs Durant - advantage Team USA
C: Howard vs Tyson Chandler - Advantage Lakers

Bench: Biggest advantage ever, Team USA.

Howard is really the only place the Lakers have any sort of advantage, and it's not even that much, because he's just OK offensively. Defensively he's great, but so is Chandler (last year's defensive player of the year).

Sorry, but Team USA is just a lot better than the Lakers. That's not an insult, it's just reality. Team USA is the best team on the planet right now. I think you could have Team USA play a team made up of the best remaining players in the world, and they would probably still win.

That's not a knock on the Lakers, and I have no idea how it makes ME arrogant, ESPECIALLY compared to Lakers fans who think their salary cap controlled NBA team could beat a team stacked with All-NBA first team players. I mean... who is really being arrogant here?

8/12/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

(Edited by PurrsAlot)

nash FG %  49.1
          3 pt FG%  42.8
         ranked 5th all time in  assists and still playing

his career speaks for itself
also nash now has gasol, kobe and howard to dish it to
the best is yet to come :)

8/12/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

Pat wrote:
Steve Nash isn't arguably the best point guard playing. Let me remind you of a few who some might consider better. And by "some," I mean almost everyone.

Chris Paul
Derrick Rose (when healthy, obviously)
Deron Williams
Rajon Rondo
Russell Westbrook

check "assists"

8/12/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

Steve Nash isn't arguably the best point guard playing. Let me remind you of a few who some might consider better. And by "some," I mean almost everyone.

Chris Paul
Derrick Rose (when healthy, obviously)
Deron Williams
Rajon Rondo
Russell Westbrook

8/12/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

Pat wrote:
My point is that last year, with Bynum, who is still a top 3 center, the Thunder beat the Lakers. Team USA is obviously MUCH better than the Thunder, because they have the Thunder's best players and then they added some of the best players in the world.

I'm not saying that the Thunder's Big 3 are the main pieces of Team USA. I'm saying they were the main pieces of a team that beat the Lakers. And now the fact that two of them are only ancillary pieces on Team USA speaks to how much better Team USA is.

okay i will give you that
of course the Lakers didn't have a "point guard" to speak of
and now they have arguably the best on playing
and bynum couldn't defend his own shadow
and artest was a bonehead for his suspension
this year will be quite different if they all make it there without injuries
nash will extend kobe's career and make gasol a monster with pick and roll (euro ball)
maybe the thunder will win again but i bet it goes 7

8/12/12   |   scquwi1   |   1227 respect

Pat, you are so correct no way the Lakers would beat this team, as people would want to say the Olympic team lacks size, they went out and beat teams shooting and Bymun would have scored but not enough to keep the Lakers in it. As you pointed out OKC beat the Lakers when they were also undersized down low.

To say that a college team could not beat a pro team I will not agree look how the Orioles got beat at the end of pre-season. So anything could happen but in a 3 game season the chances are very slim of one pulling that upset.

saying that this team could beat the '92 team is crazy look at the championship game in the Olympics. This team did not penetrate against Spain. Really, what big stopper did they have on that team. All this stuff how the '92 team could not guard the '12 team is silly, they were better defensively them Spain was today and Spain lost by 7. The '92 played more as a team and would have done circles around the '12 team and we would not have wittiness dibble down and shoot first 92% of the time like the '12 team did.

I got off the point, but I do agree there is no way the Lakers would have had a chance all the team would be losing is Kobe. Even if the Lakers got Howard his offensive is not great, he is more of a defensive player and who knows how he would have played remember he got a bad back.

8/12/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

PurrsAlot wrote:
oh of your premise that it's the Thunder big 3 and "the rest".  Westbrook is averaging what... 3 points?
And Harden hasn't done much at all.  It's all Durant.  Your article is saturated with misinformation and just not based on any reality of who is contributing.  So far it's James, Durant, Kobe and Mello.  They are the Big 4!  Not the Thunder 3. 

My point is that last year, with Bynum, who is still a top 3 center, the Thunder beat the Lakers. Team USA is obviously MUCH better than the Thunder, because they have the Thunder's best players and then they added some of the best players in the world.

I'm not saying that the Thunder's Big 3 are the main pieces of Team USA. I'm saying they were the main pieces of a team that beat the Lakers. And now the fact that two of them are only ancillary pieces on Team USA speaks to how much better Team USA is.

8/12/12   |   Pat   |   5229 respect

PurrsAlot wrote:
wow what an arrogant article.  prejudiced laker hater unable to reason.  Not even going to read your response.

It's arrogant to believe the Lakers wouldn't beat one of the greatest teams ever assembled?

Ok.

8/12/12   |   mcleodglen   |   32 respect

I still like our 1992 team better somehow.

8/12/12   |   GeorgeMon   |   159 respect

Hahaha Pat is that your Boston bias coming through? It's not an absurd comparison.... Team USA lacks size and no matter how horrible Howard has looked over the last year he is probably the 3rd best player in the league.... So even though team USA would be a favorite, the Lakers could easily win 3 out of 7. Either way I can't wait til basketball season! :)

8/11/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

oh of your premise that it's the Thunder big 3 and "the rest".  Westbrook is averaging what... 3 points?
And Harden hasn't done much at all.  It's all Durant.  Your article is saturated with misinformation and just not based on any reality of who is contributing.  So far it's James, Durant, Kobe and Mello.  They are the Big 4!  Not the Thunder 3. 

8/11/12   |   PurrsAlot   |   1604 respect

wow what an arrogant article.  prejudiced laker hater unable to reason.  Not even going to read your response.