Tag: Dream Team

Lebron James,Kobe Bryant,  Andre Iguodala

Quote of the Day: Magic, Barkley on huge Team USA win


“I want to congratulate the guys on their continued dominance in London. This is starting to look a lot like our 1992 Dream Team. I look forward to watching them continue to drive for that gold medal and bring it home for the USA.”

—Magic Johnson

“That’s probably how many points they’d beat the ’92 team by … if we played today.”

—Charles Barkley

That was the former Dream Teamers’ reactions to the USA’s 83 point thrashing of Nigeria on Thursday, via Marc Stein of ESPN. I’m personally pretty weary of comparing teams across generations, especially in this case, but I think it’s becoming clear that this Team USA could end up in the top 3 all time (you have to include the 1960 team that had Jerry West and Oscar Robertson in these conversations).

Of course, one stumble and this 2012 team falls way down to the other end of the list.

Charles Barkley says Drexler was always jealous of Jordan

Clyde Drexler plays defense

Clyde Drexler has been back in the spotlight, in because the entire 1992 Dream Team is back in the spotlight, in part because he’s said some outrageous things.

Through it all, Drexler has come off as a little bit bitter.

He sounds frustrated that the Dream Team was about Jordan and Magic and Barkley and not him. Charles Barkley, speaking frankly on the “The Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 (does Barkley speak another way?) said yes, that’s pretty much right.

“I think Clyde has always been jealous of Michael (Jordan), to be honest with you,” Barkley said…. “I think he’s always wanted to be compared to Michael.

“Hey, we all want to be compared to Michael, but we’re not. Clyde was a great player, but there was always that jealousy of Michael. That was one of the incidents and things about the Dream Team, Clyde was trying to play like it was Game 7 against Michael, and that’s probably not a good idea. When Michael is driving his kids to school, he thinks it’s Game 7.”

Drexler has denied saying that the Dream Team pitied Magic Johnson and was “waiting for him to die” but the author Jack McCallum told PBT he has it on tape. It may have come out different than Drexler intended it to sound, but he did say it.

Drexler was undoubtedly one of the best players of his generation — an NBA champion, a 10-time All-Star, a guy who averages 20 points a game for his career. A deserving Hall of Famer. But he’s not Jordan or Johnson. He’s just not. Sorry.

Magic says Kobe and LeBron would make the Dream Team

APTOPIX NBA All Star Basketball

As interesting uninteresting kill-me-now painful as the discussion over whether the 2012 team could beat the Dream Team has been, Magic Johnson gave an interesting answer Saturday on who would make the Dream Team from this year’s squad. From the L.A. Times:

“You have to say Kobe would definitely make it,” Johnson said. “He’s unbelievable. We’re so lucky and so fortunate we get a chance to watch Kobe play every single night here in L.A. LeBron is the best all-around player in the game so he would definitely make our team. Kevin Durant would have a shot as well. You have two definitely in with Kobe and LeBron.”

via London Olympics: Magic says Kobe, LeBron would make ’92 Dream Team – latimes.com.

So then the question becomes who would they replace on the Dream Team. Johnson would only target poor Christian Laettner, the single college player put on the team and the one constantly derided by his teammates both at the time and in retrospect.

But in truth, it becomes an interesting answer with James possibly starting, and Bryant obviously backing up Jordan, if their natural positions are reserved.

There’s a kind of weird inverse connection between Bryant’s position on that team and that James’. Bryant isn’t quite as sharp as he was, say, four years ago in Beijing. Clyde Drexler, on the other hand, was just 30. And while taking Drexler over Bryant sounds insane given total career accomplishments, it might have been closer than you’d think. Is a 30-year-old Drexler better than a 34-next-month Bryant? Well, no, probably not. One thing is indisputable. Bryant wouldn’t be starting. (An argument could be made that Bryant and Jordan should start over Magic Johnson, but as Jack McCallum noted in his book on the Dream Team, that wasn’t going to happen. It was Magic’s team in name, if not function.)

For James, list me a player who at the time was better than James is right now: Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Chris Mullin. Bird is the only player who you can actually try and make an argument was better at his peak than James is now, but in ’92, Bird was a shell of himself due to a back injury that would lead to his subsequent retirement. You could make the case for Pippen’s ability to compliment Jordan, but if we’re going overall talent, the edge goes to James. If it’s at power forward, you can probably say that Barkley fits the position better, but you have David Robinson and Patrick Ewing for true size, and James’ versatility makes up for whatever he gives up.

So likely, at this moment in time, Magic-Jordan-James-Barkley-Robinson/Ewing with Bryant off the bench first is probably the setup. If this was 2008, that question gets even tougher. You might even then be able to make the argument for Magic-Jordan-Bryant-James-Barkley/Robinson/Ewing.

One thing’s certain. James and Bryant are great enough, even with the contextual restraint of recentness dragging them down, to be a part of the Dream.

Friday Night Video: Talking Dream Team with author Jack McCallum

Image (1) Dream-Team-thumb-250x274-18169.jpg for post 3660
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The book now on top of every hoops junkie’s reading list is Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum’s new book on the Dream Team. Not just because of what Clyde Drexler said about Magic Johnson, or because of what Kobe thinks, but because this book will tell stories and add depth to the best basketball team ever assembled.

PBT already had a great in-depth interview with McCallum about the book, then on Friday he swung by NBC Sports Network’s Sports Talk to discuss the book.


Quote of the Day: Larry Bird on Dream Team vs. 2012 “rivalry”

Former NBA player Bird attends premiere of Magic Bird in New York

“They probably could (beat us). I haven’t played in 20 years and we’re all old now.”

—Larry Bird, the Hall of Fame player and Dream Team member, on whether the 2012 USA Olympic Team could beat his Dream Team.

Probably the smartest thing anyone has said about this “rivalry.” It’s time to move on.

Thanks to the Pacers for the quote.