Today, after the USA couldn’t get an outside shot to fall and was not terribly impressive in defeating Brazil, the “Dream Team vs. 2012 debate” seems a little moot. (Although we will point out in that the Dream Team didn’t ever play a team as good as Brazil is now, let alone Spain Not that it really would have mattered.)
But in a halftime interview at the game Monday night in Washington D.C. which he attended, the hoopster-in-chief Barack Obama was asked about Kobe Bryant’s comments that he thought this team could beat the 1992 Dream Team (transcribed by the AP).
“This is a generational thing,” Obama said during a halftime interview with ESPN2 as it broadcast an exhibition game Monday night with Brazil at Washington’s Verizon Center. “I was around in ’92, I was a Bulls fan, so I’ve got to go with the original Dream Team….
“I suspect that Michael and `Sir Charles’ and others would point out they were probably never down at any point in any of their games,” Obama said. “But this is a great team, unbelievable talent.”
The president added: “You know, Kobe’s a competitor, so you expect him to do a little trash talking whenever the opportunity arises.”
The one thing the Dream Team had with Patrick Ewing and David Robinson was the size to match up with a team like Brazil. But it was a different world 20 years ago and it was the impact of the Dream Team that helped make teams like Brazil and Spain and Argentina possible — all teams better than any international 1992 squad — because of how they popularized the sport.
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):
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 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.
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.
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.