DEBATE: Dream Team vs. 2012 team.

Posted: 07/12/2012 by levcohen in Basketball

Recently there has been a huge debate raging about which team would win a head to head matchup: the Dream Team (’92) or this year’s team. Even some of the greats have talked about it.

Michael Jordan (the best player of ALL time):
http://www.freep.com/article/20120712/SPORTS03/120712049/michael-jordan-kobe-bryant-dream-team

Charles Barkley:
http://espn.go.com/olympics/summer/2012/basketball/story/_/id/8158008/charles-barkley-says-1992-dream-team-beat-2012-olympic-team-double-digits

Mike Krzyzewski (current coach, assistant in ’92)
http://probasketballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/11/kobe-says-2012-olympic-team-could-beat-dream-team-krzyzewski-wouldnt-rule-it-out/

If you don’t feel like reading the links, I’ll summarize them. Kobe Bryant started it off by saying that his current team could beat the ’92 team. He said that they were more athletic. He also said that they were younger, and some of the “Dream Teamers” were at the end of their careers. Barkley and Jordan (both members of the Dream Team) fought back, saying that they laughed at Kobe’s explanation. Barkley went as far as to say that only 3 people (Kobe, LeBron, and KD) would have made the Dream Team. Coach K said that this team isn’t there yet, but they could make it close. I’m going to compare the teams:

PG:
Current: Chris Paul (27), Deron Williams (28), Russell Westbrook (23)
’92: John Stockton (30), Magic Johnson (32)

SG:
Current: James Harden (22), Andre Iguodala (28), Kobe Bryant (33)
’92: Michael Jordan (29), Clyde Drexler (30)

SF:
Current: Carmelo Anthony (28), Kevin Durant (23)
’92: Chris Mullin (28), Scotty Pippen (26), Larry Bird (35)

PF:
Current: LeBron James (SF/PF) (27), Kevin Love (23), Blake Griffin (23) (or if Griff is hurt, Anthony Davis- 19-)
’92: Charles Barkley (29), Christian Laettner (22), Karl Malone (28)

C:
Current: Tyson Chandler (29)
’92: Patrick Ewing (29), David Robinson (26)

Current average age: 25.91
’92 average age: 27.83

Position Edges:
PG: 2012
SG: 1992
SF: EVEN
PF: Close, slight edge to 2012 (LeBron is better than Barkley and Malone)
C: 1992

So from this it seems like the teams are fairly even. But if you take a closer look, you will see that the Dream Team would DESTROY this team down low. Imagine LeBron, Griffin, Love and Chandler matching up against Barkley, Malone, Ewing and Robinson. That HUGE edge down low gives the Dream Team a fairly big advantage. Here are a few other reasons why:

First of all, the notion that the Dream Team was “too old” has got to be snuffed out. Sure, some major pieces were old. (Magic Johnson was playing a year after retiring with AIDS. Larry Bird was injury plagued and retired after that season.) The thing is, 5 of the 6 most important players on this team (Malone, Ewing, Barkley, Robinson, Jordan) were in their prime. The sixth in that group is Magic Johnson. Second of all, the Dream Team won each game by an average of 44 points. That’s amazing. I doubt that any team will EVER match that. Third of all, that Dream Team had an incredible 10 Hall of Famer’s. Only Laettner and Drexler weren’t inducted. It’s hard to imagine this team will have 10 hall of famer’s. I’ll give you these guys:
James
Durant
Paul
Bryant
Anthony

After those guys, it really doesn’t seem like many more will make it. These guys have a chance:
Williams
Westbrook (on pace, too early to tell)
Love (on pace, too early)
Griffin (too early)

I don’t think any of these three guys stand a chance:
Iguodala, Harden, Chandler

So for this year’s team, I would say between 6 and 8 will make the team. That’s a lot, but not as many as made it from the ’92 team.

What would happen in a game:

My prediction is that the Dream Team would win the game 96-86.

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Comments
  1. philabundant says:

    Too bad we can’t test your prediction. I also think the competition in general is tougher now than it was then with more good foreign teams.

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