Tag: Michael Jordan

Clyde Drexler plays defense

Charles Barkley says Drexler was always jealous of Jordan


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.

Deron Williams wants no part of the Dream Team vs. 2012 debate

US Roster Basketball

It’s easy to get sucked up into the debate. It’s compelling, right? The best team arguably ever assembled, but held up in spite of the vast differential in athleticism, conditioning, and speed of the game. The modern team held up as a contradictory juxtaposition, a contrarian’s dream, with Kobe, LeBron, and KD at the forefront.

The debate over who would win in a match of the Dream Team ’92 vs. “We Wish We Had A Name That Rhymed With Team” Team ’12 has broken out over the headlines, with even Michael Jordan himself stepping down from the heavens and taking a break from ruining the Bobcats to chime in on how his guys would destroy the pups, and Kobe Bryant going right back at him, a sign in and of itself of how Bryant considers himself in Jordan’s context.

(Think about that. Who else is going to go right back at Michael Jordan in the press? LeBron James isn’t doing it. Allen Iverson wasn’t doing it. Only Kobe Bryant would have the audacity to question the GOAT and sound reasonable doing it. That’s Kobe.)

But in reality, it’s a ridiculously dumb question. Forget all the impossibilities in trying to really evaluate two sets of players out of their own eras. Forget the injury questions and who gets who with what injury erased. (If today’s team gets Dwight Howard back, does the Dream Team get Larry Bird at full strength?) Forget the fact that this argument has no discernible conclusion and more importantly, absolutely no impact on anything real or imagined in this world.

It’s the Dream Team. You’re not fighting reality here. You’re fighting legend. It’s like trying to say “Yeah, Paul Bunyan could chop down a lot of trees, but check out this new forestry machinery we invented! You could actually be able to dwarf a 60-foot-tall man’s production, but guess what? He still has a giant blue ox and you still have a thresher. You’re not winning that fight in public discourse.

One member who understands the power of the reductionist argument? Deron Williams.


And that’s it. “That team was the best ever.” Williams is as fierce a competitor as anyone. After all, he turned down more money to play in a smaller market… wait, no that’s not right. Just kidding. But Williams isn’t going to back down to anyone. And yet he knows that this isn’t a conversation you can win. It’s not about who the actual better team is. It’s just about that perception.

And in that realm, the Dream Team are undefeated.

Friday Night Video: Talking Dream Team with author Jack McCallum

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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.


Kobe Bryant stands by his Dream Team comments

Dominican Republic US Basketball

LAS VEGAS — Did you really expect Kobe Bryant would back down from anyone or anything?

Remember Kobe said he thought this year’s Team USA could beat the Dream Team. Which stirred plenty of debate.

After the USA beat the Dominican Republic like they were the freshman team on Thursday night, Kobe was asked about the reaction of Michael Jordan who said he laughed at the idea.

“So what? He knows I’m a bad mother-f—–,” Bryant said. “I’m not really tripping….

“They have (Patrick) Ewing and (David) Robinson and those big guys. It’s tough. If you’re asking me, ‘Can you beat them one game?’ Hell yeah, we can beat them one game.

“You didn’t ask me if we could beat them in a seven-game series. In one game, we can beat them. No question about it.”

Someone else asked LeBron James if he thought and J.A. Adande of ESPN tweeted the response.

“What do want me to say? That we would lose?”

“Doesn’t matter how much we debate about it, it’s never going to happen. “

Which is what makes it fun to debate — we will never have a definitive answer.

Jordan laughs at idea current Olympic team could challenge Dream Team


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.