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Jerry Colangelo is Crazy: He Thinks the 2012 Olympic Team Will Compare to the Dream Team
Jerry Colangelo must think a lot of today's players to even fathom that they could beat the 12 legends (and Christian Laettner) that comprised the Dream team. If you took Chris Mullin off and put Dominique Wilkins on, and took Christian Laettner off and put on the young LSU center named Shaq, you would be looking at an even more absurd team.
But it doesn't even need to be any better than it was to be perfect. Think about the players on the 92 Dream Team!
David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson (…and Christian Laettner).
We are looking at a team entirely comprised of first ballot hall of famers (excluding Laettner. Can we just pretend like he's not even on this team?). You're also looking at a team with 3 of the top 7 players of all time, and probably 5 of the top 12 (with Malone being #12, and Barkley being #9).
The thing is, this Olympic team will be really stacked.
But you're looking at players that fall short.
Kobe Bryant is an imitation of MJ. Magic Johnson is the best big man passer ever, LeBron James is a higher scoring weak imitation. Kevin Durant and Pippen are probably on the same level, while Derrick Rose and Clyde Drexler would cancel one another out, as well. I guess with big men, you're comparing Dwight Howard to a guy like David Robinson, which is a comparison that would clearly go to Robinson. Throw Wade in there somewhere, too, and he's probably on the Mailman's level impact-wise.
Of course, with this team, you are looking at over the hill versions of both Larry Bird and Charles Barkley. By 1992, Bird's back had just about given him all the pain he could handle, and Barkley was beginning to lose the hops he displayed when he was actually in worse physical shape (in terms of percentage of body fat, anyway).
So maybe Colangelo isn't as crazy as I thought. The 92 Dream team was very stacked, but this Olympic team will feature a level of talent and depth that rivals it. The thing is, when you're talking about a backcourt of MJ and Magic, I just have trouble imagining any team comparing to it. I don't even need to know the rest of the roster, and then once I do, I feel fairly confident that the 92 Dream team would defeat this 2012 roster by at least 20 points. They didn't have a single game in the Olympics that was closer than 45 points, and I don't think this squad will be able to claim that same thing.
But then again: Maybe they will. Maybe they will go down as the most dominant team since that unfathomably good 92 team. It's just that everything seems to be the inferior version of the 92 team…again:
Kobe … MJ, Bron…Magic, Dwight…Admiral, Wade..Drexler.
The 92 versions are always superior there. And ultimately the team is, too. I don't care if you are going to claim Mullin is the weakest player of both rosters and is on the 92 team. I don't even dispute that. The point is that the concentration of talent on the 92 team will probably never be equalled, and if you throw out talent completely and just focus on legendary status (in which case Bird and Barkely are worth significantly more!), the 92 team has it hands down.
Again: Kobe is not MJ…I'm not going to repeat myself any more.
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