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.