There were no two better teams ever assembled than the two teams going into the Hall of Fame Friday. Two very competitive teams. And they are not done competing.
When Charles Barkley went up to meet 1960 Olympian Bob Boozer and shake his hand, Boozer told FanHouse this is what he said:
“I said, ‘We would have kicked your butts,”’ was how Boozer said he greeted Sir Charles.
And it has been going on like that all week — all in good fun.
The 1960 USA team featured Oscar Robertson, Jerry West, Jerry Lucas, Terry Dischinger, Walter Bellamy, and more. It was a real team — five players on the team averaged double-digit points through the tournament.
The 1992 Dream Team featured Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone — 10 players from the 50 greatest NBA players of all time on one team.
Two groups of very competitive guys.
At a roundtable discussion at a Hall of Fame dinner Thursday night, the two teams went at each other. Jerry Lucas… turned to Barkley and said, “I’m sitting next to a player who played on the second-best Olympic team.”’
That got Barkley going.
“First of all, nobody wearing Chuck Taylors can guard me,” Barkley responded. “They always talk about breaking ankles. We would definitely be breaking ankles (of the 1960 Olympic team).’…’
“We were amateurs and we played against many of the older European teams,” Boozer said. “They beat everybody by 43 or something points and we beat everybody by 42 but we were shooting with a soccer ball (which is how Boozer described the then-smaller international basketball) and we didn’t have the three-point line. When you shot a long jumper, it would change directions.”
“Are you kidding me?” Malone said when asked who would win if the 1960 and 1992 teams played in their primes. “We know about Oscar and Jerry (West). We would have double-teamed them. And Lucas … I’m like Charles. I don’t know if you’re going to guard me in Chuck Taylors. They were great but I’m bias. I respect what they did… (But) we would have beaten them by 20. We might feel sorry for them (by not winning by more).”