After the ’92 Dream Team documentary was released a few weeks ago, it reminded the basketball world once again that it was the best team ever assembled. It was a team that boasted 11 Hall of Famers, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird. The original Dream Team won every game by an absurdly high average of 43 points.
However, what most people forget is that Larry was on his last legs, Magic was towards the end of his career, John Stockton was included because Isiah Thomas was excluded, and Christian Laettner hadn’t played a single minute in the NBA.
On top of all of this, the rest of the world was still catching up to American basketball. There were no Dirk’s, Manu’s, Pau’s, or Parker’s at the time.
So, when Kobe Bryant was asked whether or not, the current Dream Team could beat the original Dream Team, he said, “Well, we could. It would be a tough match-up to say the least, but we could.” Coach K himself said that, “in their (’92 Dream Team) primes, there would be no team ever like that.” But that’s the whole point, many of them were not in their primes.
Michael Jordan, however, begged to differ.
“I heard Kobe say we were not athletic," said Jordan. "But we were smart. He said we were too old, but I was 29 and in the prime of my career. Pip was 26 or 27, (Charles) Barkley was 29, Patrick (Ewing) was 29 and Chris Mullin was 29. Almost everybody was still in their 20s. Most of us were in the prime of our careers, at a point where athleticism doesn't really matter. You have to know how to play the game."
Basketball fans will never get to see the Original Dream Team face off against the current Dream Team, unless it’s in a simulated NBA 2K game on PS3. But as we approach the Summer Olympics and wait for the U.S. to bring home another gold; it does make for a great conversation that could last for hours.