“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.
Video: We’re pretty pumped for Dream Team documentary
You probably have seen the commercials for the upcoming NBA TV Dream Team documentary, they are everywhere during playoff coverage, but truth be told we’re getting pretty pumped up for this. So we’re bringing you the trailer. Watch it again. And again.
The original NBA Dream Team was 20 years ago this summer — a team with 11 Basketball Hall of Famers that steamrolled an international Olympics field far weaker than the one Team USA will face this summer. But it was those guys and what they did, the international spotlight they brought to the NBA and the game, that jump started the international growth of the sport. Still, the best stories are from the practices and more.
We will have a full advanced review of the documentary closer to its airing (9 p.m. Eastern, June 13 on NBA TV). For now, enjoy the trailer.
Video: San Antonio Mayor welcomes Charles Barkley to San Antonio… with rings
Charles Barkley is well known for not liking San Antonio. It’s just not his kind of town. Like a lot of towns in Texas, the people that like San Antonio love it, those that don’t are very “meh” on it. Very few hate it. It’s hard to hate it. It’s a livable city. (Note: For once I’m not just talking out my backside, having spent four years in Austin and primarily traveling around Texas at that time I got a feel for the Republic and its citizens.) But it’s definitely not for Barkley, who continues to blast the Riverwalk as a “dirty creek.”
On Friday, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro responded to Barkley in a friendly, wink-wink, nudge-nudge video that features the ultimate argument. Count the rings.
Gotta love the Mayor taking advantage of the situation to get some free publicity. Barkley and company head to San Antonio Sunday as TNT hosts the Western Conference Finals Game 1 Sunday night at the AT&T Center. Hopefully Charles can get down to the Riverwalk for some chain Tex-Mex and poorly made margaritas.
New documentary includes look at game Dream Team lost
We remember the original Dream Team — the pros sent to the 1992 Barcelona Olympics including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and others — just rolling teams. The won the Olympic gold medal by an average of nearly 20 points a game and had the opposing teams asking for autographs afterward.
But a new documentary about the 20th anniversary of that team (to air on NBA TV June 13) also talks about and has footage of the game they lost.
It wasn’t a game so much as a scrimmage in La Jolla, Calif., against a group of college stars featuring Grant Hill, Chris Webber and Bobby Hurley, among others. The footage shows the speedy little point guard Hurley slicing into the teeth of the USA defense and carving the dream team up pretty good. However, USA head coach Chuck Daly had the scoreboard turned off before reporters were allowed in the gym.
Current Team USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski said he thinks Daly threw the game with a purpose. From the AP:
“He threw the game. You know, Chuck threw the game,” Krzyzewski, then a U.S. assistant and the current head coach, said on the documentary. “If you look how much Jordan played and how he subbed guys in, not picking up, not making any adjustments, he knew what he was doing.”
The reason — to let the Dream Team know they could be beaten. To let them know they were not invincible. But Daly would have had to throw it because no other team on the planet at that time could have beaten the dream team. They were as invincible as a team may ever have been.
I wouldn’t be nearly as confident that the Team USA heading to London this summer, 20 years later, will be as invincible. Thanks in part to the worldwide phenomenon of the Dream Team, the rest of the world is starting to catch up to us in basketball.
Video: Charles Barkley wins Emmy, gets champagne shower