Jordan laughs at idea current Olympic team could challenge Dream Team

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Just like Charles Barkley… what did you really expect Michael Jordan to say?

We’ve told you Kobe Bryant said he thought this current team could beat the Dream Team (because guys like Magic and Bird were at the end of their careers), that Mike Krzyzewski (who was an assistant coach in 1992) didn’t blow the idea out of the water, and that Charles Barkley said no way.

Michael Jordan, he just laughed, according to the AP.

Jordan told The Associated Press Thursday that he laughed — “I absolutely laughed” — when hearing Bryant’s comments that the squad training in Las Vegas could take Jordan and company.

“For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done,” Jordan said prior playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Charlotte….

“I heard Kobe say we were not athletic,” said a smiling Jordan as he sat in a golf cart puffing on his cigar while waiting to tee off. “But we were smart. He said we were too old, but I was 29 and in the prime of my career. Pip (Scottie Pippen) was 26 or 27, (Charles) Barkley was 29, Patrick (Ewing) was 29 and Chris Mullin was 29. Almost everybody was still in their twenties.”

By our nature, people tend to romanticize the past. We think things were simpler when we were younger, that the world was clearer, when that has never been true. We also tend to romanticize sports teams from the past compared to today. We think the NBA was better in the 1980s and 90s than it is now — no, it is not. There were terrible teams and selfish players and horrific isolation basketball and terrible defense then too. We just tend to forget all that and focus on the good in our minds.

No doubt the Dream Team was a great team, one that changed basketball in a way the current team never could because of circumstance. But to suggest they are light years better than the current team is wrong — the Dream Team was flawed but their competition was much, much weaker. They never got tested the way this year’s team will.

I’d still take the Dream Team in a matchup, but it’s close. Closer than people want to admit. Including Jordan.

Trail Blazers beat Suns by 48, biggest season-opening rout in NBA history

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Any controversy over C.J. McCollum‘s suspension for the season-opener should be put to rest. The Trail Blazers fared fine without him.

More than fine.

Portland beat the Suns, 124-76, Wednesday. The 48-point margin is the largest ever in a season opener, even as the Trail Blazers let a 58-point fourth-quarter lead dwindle.

Here are the most lopsided season-openers in NBA history (openers for both teams appearing twice):

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The 48-point defeat is also the Suns’ worst lost in franchise history, topping a 44-point loss to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1988. It could be a long year in Phoenix.

Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova scrap (video)

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Marcus Smart and Matthew Dellavedova thrive on aggravating opponents, so when matched up, of course they aggravated each other.

Deduct points from Smart for pulling the hold-me-back charade behind a referee. Plus, Dellavedova’s Bucks beat Smart’s Celtics, 108-100.

Report: ‘Tremendous concern’ for Jeremy Lin’s knee injury

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The Nets’ projected record this season came under greater scrutiny when the Celtics traded Brooklyn’s unprotected first-round pick to the Cavaliers in the Kyrie Irving trade. After finishing third-to-last and last the previous two years, were the Nets poised to take a step forward, or would they convey a very high pick to the Cavs?

Jeremy Lin, who missed 46 games last season, getting healthy was a reason for optimism in Brooklyn and pessimism in Cleveland. But it appears the veteran guard could be out a while.

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN:

Billy Reinhardt of Nets Daily:

If the injury is as bad as feared, what a bummer for Lin. He came to Brooklyn expecting to play a leading role on a developing team, and he just can’t stay healthy.

The Nets were probably more focused on developing their younger players, but – especially without their own draft picks – there was no harm in shooting for the playoffs. This appears to a blow to that (already unlikely) dream.

It’s a boon to the Cavaliers, though. And whenever something significantly affects LeBron James‘ team, it has ramifications into the entire power dynamic of the Eastern Conference. For an injury to a player on a team most expect to be bad, the medical developments here will be tracked closely around the league.

Aaron Gordon throws himself alley-oop off backboard (video)

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Remember when Aaron Gordon was a promising fun player?

The Magic sidetracked him by playing him at small forward most of last season. But back at power forward, Gordon showed how he could push the pace as a four in Orlando’s season-opening win over the Heat.

There’s obviously flair in passing to yourself off the backboard, but it’s a sound way to improve position. Gordon did that to fantastic effect.