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Let the comparisons begin. 1992 vs. 2012. Magic vs. Kobe. Jordan vs. LeBron (not like we haven't heard that one enough already).
In a practice interview Monday, Kobe Bryant told a reporter that he believes the 2012 U.S Men's Basketball Olympic Team would “pull it out” if they played against the 1992 Dream Team. Kobe states that “young racehorses on the wing” would be the key factor in giving the 2012 team a slight advantage.
If we could build a time machine and have these two teams play each other it would definitely be a compelling match-up. The 1992 team, otherwise known as the “Dream Team “, was not only known as the greatest team ever assembled, but was a major influence in expanding the NBA globally. In the first Olympics where NBA players were allowed to compete, the team, led by Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, steamrolled the competition on their way to the Gold Medal. The 2012 team, on the other hand, is headlined by Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul and is looking to defend its 2008 Gold Medal in Beijing.
Analyzing each team, there are advantages on both sides. As Kobe mentioned in the interview, the '92 team holds a significant size advantage. Missing players such as Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, the 2012 team only has one true center on the roster in Tyson Chandler. The Dream Team front-court was led by future Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, and Karl Malone. In an era today with limited true post presences, these three legends would get their fair share of points in the paint.
While The Dream Team would have their way down low, I have to agree with Kobe that the advantage on the wing has to go to the 2012 squad. James and Durant would pose difficult match-up problems for the '92 team with their size, athleticism and versatility. At 6'8'' and 6'9'' respectively, James' physical strength and Durant's pure shooting would create match-up problems for the forwards on the '92 team.
If I had to choose, I would have to go with the '92 Dream Team. The 2012 team has some outstanding players and athletes, but the depth and overall talent level of the '92 team has never been paralleled. The Dream Team played with incredible unselfishness and absolutely destroyed the competition. Oh, it doesn't hurt to have Michael Jordan on your team either. I don't think the greatest player ever to play the game would be too thrilled with losing to Kobe and Co.
Even though it is fun to compare the two, the fact of the matter is this game will never happen. Kobe can form his own opinion and so can everyone else. So feel free to give it your best attempt in NBA 2k12, because unfortunately we'll never know the outcome.
Who do you think would win: The 1992 Dream Team or today's 2012 Olympic Team?