What did you think Charles Barkley was going to say?
Pretty much what most of you did in the comments on this site yesterday — you’ll take the original 1992 Dream Team over this year’s Team USA.
Barkley was a key part of the original Dream Team, and he’s not exactly soft-spoken, so you knew he would respond to Kobe Bryant’s comments that the current Olympic team could beat the Dream Team. Barkley was on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia (as transcribed by the USA Today).
“Oh yeah, that’s no disrespect,” Barkley said. “I ain’t got to badmouth them. But like I said, their point guards weren’t going to beat us. That’s a no-brainer.”
He added that “other than Kobe, LeBron (James) and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team.”
I think a game like this would be closer than people think. Closer than Barkley thinks. First off, as Mike Krzyzewski pointed out yesterday, the current Olympians are all pretty much at or entering their prime, while the Dream Team had Larry Bird and John Stockton really hurting and Magic Johnson off a year out of the game.
And I don’t know about Barkley’s guard comments, Chris Paul could hold his own with that team.
Size would be a factor — the Dream Team had Patrick Ewing and David Robinson inside and other athletic guys like Barkley who could score and make plays in the paint. The current USA would struggle to deal with that kind of size and ability to pound it inside.
And I’d take peak Michael Jordan over Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
But this is a very good Team USA this year, it would be close, a lot closer than some of you seem to think. Single digits, decided in the fourth quarter.