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It is, without question, the most important question of our time: Could the present version of Team USA, led by the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, defeat the 1992 "Dream Team," which featured 11 Hall of Famers, won its games at the '92 Summer Olympics in Barcelona by an average margin of 43.8 points en route to a gold medal and is widely considered the greatest team ever assembled in any sport?
[ Video: The Dream Team: a retrospective ]
As you surely know, Bryant said yes. Barkley said no, as did most of his Dream Teammates and the rest of the world at large. Larry Bird offered a mighty fine capper by wryly suggesting 2012 would win because of how old all the original Dream Teamers are now, which was great, because it let us all have a little laugh and put the issue to bed.
But the "debate," such as it is one, was resurrected during halftime of Team USA's Monday night exhibition game against Brazil, when ESPN commentator Mark Jones asked no less a source than President Barack Obama for his opinion on the theoretical contest. From Ken Thomas of The Associated Press:
"This is a generational thing," Obama said [...]. "I was around in '92, I was a Bulls fan, so I've got to go with the original Dream Team." [...]
"I suspect that Michael and 'Sir Charles' and others would point out they were probably never down at any point in any of their games," Obama said. "But this is a great team, unbelievable talent."
Obama did note that "there's no reason that [the 2012 squad] shouldn't bring home the gold," but stayed firm with his '92 pick, even as he said he understood the impetus behind Bryant's remarks.
[ Related: Obamas on Kiss Cam at Team USA game ]
"You know, Kobe's a competitor, so you expect him to do a little trash talking whenever the opportunity arises," the president said.
Like, for example, when Kyrie Irving challenges him to a game of one-on-one. Or — and this is a slightly touchier subject — when the president whiffs on his first shot with the first lady on the Kiss Cam at the Verizon Center.
After Obama was dealt a small dose of rejection when First Lady Michelle Obama turned him down on a kiss cam, Bryant took a shot at Obama.
"PDA is not for everybody, you know what I mean," Bryant said [after the game].
Then he backpedaled a bit.
"But he makes the important decisions, so it's all good."
Indeed it is, Kobe. Besides, he eventually got his kiss, so it is doubly all good.
And now that the president has made the most important decision of his tenure in the Oval Office — that the Dream Team would defeat the 2012 edition of Team USA — let us give this discussion the kiss of death, and never speak of it again.
(Not until after this year's model wins gold, at least.)
Video via JayWeezy671.