Editor note: Take this article with some imagination. This is game that will never happen. Check our match-ups and score predication and see if you agree!
Since the end of the NBA season, building anticipation, along with the formation of a superstar-filled Team USA Basketball roster, has lead to numerous arguments regarding whether or not this year’s Olympic team could beat the Dream Team of 1992. Both of these teams are star studded and full of talent, the Dream Team with 11/12 hall of famers, and three players who most would put in their top 5, Jordan, Magic, and Bird. This year’s dream team isn’t lacking talent either, Bryant, Durant, and James are most likely each hall of famers in their own right, and each may end up as popular choices in top 5 discussions upon retirement. One of the most exciting aspects of this game would be the battle waged between the pair of “Big 3s”.
The Dream Team takes this game. The main keys are their superior technique, size, and especially, their low post play. The ‘12 team has no star center, and since they are smaller ( Avg: 78.75 in, 220.5 lbs to the Dream Team’s 80.1 in, 223 lbs) they will be turned into a perimeter team. The undersized ‘12 team forced to the perimeter, has Kobe in his decline, and LeBron still lacking at his 3-point shot. Coach K would have to turn to other options such as Durant and Carmelo to do most of the scoring.
The ’92 team has a 6’9, versatile passer in Magic Johnson. Even with his best years behind him, Magic was still as deadly a passer as ever, and could still play good defense. Chris Paul and Deron Williams are great athletes, but how could they deal with Magic’s superior size and strength? Size would be a lot for the ‘12 team to deal with at pretty much every position on the floor.
There are two likely scenarios, and either way it would not be promising for the ‘12 team.
Coach K could sit Tyson Chandler, and have their best defender, James, play the 5, which he has done before and done well. However, this is almost laughable as it would leave Karl Malone to offensively attack Andre Iguodala or Kevin Love. I apologize to Love or Iguodala fans, but Karl Malone at this time is still “the Mailman” and neither one of those guys possesses anything in their defensive arsenal that gives me any reason to believe that they could stop him.
Coach K could simply leave LeBron at the 4 and Melo at the 3. This leaves Tyson Chandler to play the 5. At the 5, he would be covering two of the greatest centers of all time, and they are both in their prime. The match-up between the tandem of Patrick Ewing and David Robinson vs. Tyson Chandler is extremely unbalanced. Ewing was an 11 time all-star and was named to the Greatest 50 Players of All Time. David “The Admiral” Robinson is a man who once scored 71 points in a game, one of only four ever to record a quadruple-double in the NBA, and he was named to the NBA all-defensive team 8 times. This is all against Tyson Chandler…you make up your mind on that one.
If you still are not sold that the ‘92 team would win, let me remind you about Michael Jordan. The ‘92 team is captained by the greatest champion/winner/clutch performer of all time, and the person who many would rank as the #1 basketball player to ever live. It may not seem so on the surface, but MJ presents match-up problems all over the place against the ‘12 team. Two options to guard him, a slowly declining Bryant or an inexperienced Durant, would likely take turns watching him score. Put LeBron on him, and that would free up big men such as Malone way too much.
Jordan in ’92 was literally at his peak, and had just won an NBA championship. Even if this game ended up being close and competitive, do you really think “his airness” himself, the man who had more determination and will to win than any player in NBA history, would let his team lose in a win or go home situation? Jordan, a 9 time first team all-defensive selection and a prolific scorer, would rise to the occasion. He would rise up like in 1993 when he averaged 43 ppg in the Finals. Jordan wouldn’t let this team lose, I can almost guarantee it.