Disclaimer: I have the theme song to Welcome Back, Kotter on repeat while I write this post.
So, much has been made about Kobe Bryant‘s comments about the Dream Team. According to the “Black Garden Snake,” excuse me, “Black Mamba,” this year’s Olympic team could beat the legendary 1992 squad. Never one to back down from a challenge, Michael Jordan scoffed at idea and stated there was “no comparison” between the 2 teams. However, while the Dream Team will always hold a special place in my heart, the prospect of them getting beat isn’t that far-fetched, and I’ll tell you why.
To get this started, let’s start from the ground up. First, take a look at the obligatory college players on the team. While Christian Laettner was a celebrated athlete at Duke, Anthony Davis would wash and wax the floor with him. Considering Davis’ shot-blocking prowess, I’d be shocked if Laettner actually got a shot off. Next, if you start comparing big men, while I’ll give the edge to the Dream Team, there will definitely be some mismatches. For example, you can’t tell me Charles Barkley won’t have a hard time guarding Kevin Love at the power forward position. How’s the “Round Mound of Rebound” going to live up to his name when he’s busy trying to contest Love’s 3-point shots?
At the guard position is where things start to get hairy. The 2012 team is stacked with point guards and shooting guards, to the point where John Stockton, Clyde Drexler and Chris Mullin won’t know what hit them. Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Russell Westbrook and James Harden will run laps around these dudes. I can already envision Paul putting Stockton on skates and it isn’t a pretty sight. Jordan over Kobe is really the only instance at guard where the Dream Team has the clear advantage.
Finally, let’s address the one area Jordan conveniently left out: Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Based on their size and the positions they play, they would most likely have to guard LeBron James and Kevin Durant, respectively. With that being said, you know and I know there’s no way either of them could keep up. By 1992, both legends were past their primes while James and Durant are just getting warmed up. I mean, let’s keep it all the way real for a second son. Even in the prime of their careers, they couldn’t stay in front of LBJ and KD. I know people on the interwebz won’t want to admit this, but you know it’s true. When it comes to LeBron, they could try putting Scottie Pippen on him, but he’s too strong for Pippen too. To me, that’s the deal breaker. LeBron and Durant are the 2 best players on this Olympic team and the Dream Team would have no hope of guarding them.
Now I’m sure there will be people who disagree with me, but who cares. Everything I just said makes logical sense. I didn’t even get into the fact this year’s Olympic team has the obvious athletic advantage. By no means am I trying to discredit the Dream Team, but c’mon son, we’re talking 20 years later and players get better. So in the end Jordan, you can absolutely make this comparison. All that’s needed now is someone who can perfect time travel in order to make this game happen. Where’s Stewie Griffin when you need him?