The web needs another Dream Team vs Team USA article as much as TV needs another Kardashian show but I felt the YouTube generation needed 2 cents from the VHS generation.
Most of the people that believe Team USA could win never had the opportunity to watch the Dream Team and they built their opinions off current ESPN features produced to cause debate, boxscores, wikipedia, blogs and millions of worthless tweets. They aren’t reading the great articles about the Dream Team in magazines (those things made from trees not code) like Time and Newsweek that I read and respect and they weren’t watching Barkley and Pippen destroy other countries happily being murdered on the floor while drinking their Larry Bird Dream Team McDonalds cups.
I’m 35 and been there and did that and recorded every international ass whooping that was on TV and the most important fact that’s rarely mentioned in these VS arguments is that brainwash effect the Dream Team had over their competition. It wasn’t just that they had a mental edge and was smarter but their opponents believed the Dream Team was just that – A DREAM! Guys were either scared to play against them or just happy to be on the court. No country is afraid of playing the USA anymore and nobody will be asking LeBron for his shoes or autograph in the middle of the game – something that was common with the DT.
It was as if Jesus himself came and challenged you to a game of 1 on 1. For all you know Jesus has the game of Jesus from the flea market that sells bootleg Jordan’s but you think he’s Jesus Shuttlesworth and all you can think about is the five W’s for after the game. Opposing teams were lined up outside the Dream Team locker rooms hoping to get in there and have Christian Laettner take a picture of them with the Dream Team. Anthony Davis will not be holding opposing teams Iphones and taking pics of them with Kobe so they can post it on Instagram.
Jordan and Barkley said they laughed when they heard about Kobe saying the current Team USA could beat them. The Space Jam allstars didn’t say they thought about it or defended themselves, they just laughed the same way I laugh at my two daughters when they challenge me at something. They are just so damn cute you can’t help but laugh but if I got upset I would just send them to their room and they will get upset and pout the same way I expect this generation of NBA players to do if this fantasy game of DT vs Team USA happened and MJ and Barkley got upset. Look, we have Carmelo Anthony whining in the media about DeMarcus Cousins playing too physical in practice. If DeMarcus Cousins’ “maturity” and “physical play” was unwelcome, how would they react to the trash talking of some of the most notorious trash talkers of all-time and the “dirty” play of Karl Malone, Barkley, Ewing & Stockton.
I’m sure most of you have heard the story about how the Dream Team lost their first scrimmage against a select team of College Allstars that included Chris Webber & Penny Hardaway. Bird was in the elevator with Webber that night and said “tomorrow is a new day.” That comment wouldn’t of meant much to and from most people but Webber knew he had a reason to be scared. The next day, the Dream Team showed up, not drunk and not ready for golf, but ready to kill and the College Allstars never scored 1 point. Not even a free throw. The College Allstars left that day feeling how the rest of the world would eventually feel.
The Dream Team’s margin of victory was 43.8 points in the Olympics and 51.5 in the qualifying tournament, which remains, by far, the largest in Olympic History. Dream Team 3, The Redeem Team and every team since hasn’t come close to that record. The closest game, which was against the European Jordan & Croatia in the Gold medal game was 32 points. The Redeem’s team’s winning average was 27.9 points.
Last night, Team USA gave the Dominican Republic a Dream Team beating beating them by 54 points. This will only add fuel for those that argue that this year’s Team could and would beat the Dream Team. Then we go into the match ups and comparing players. I’m not even going to address this because I think it’s a worthless argument. I care about how much better and faster Westbrook, Deron Williams and Chris Paul is than Stockton and a retired Magic Johnson as much as the 90s Bulls cared how much better Payton and Stockton were over BJ Armstrong & Ron Harper or how much better Jason Kidd or Iverson is over the Lakers Derek Fisher or even Westbrook over Mario Chalmers. Stockton only averaged 2.3 points and didn’t even lead the team in Assists or steals. I don’t care about how Larry Bird was a walking stiff on the Dream Team, him and Magic only made up 16 of the Dream Team’s 117 points a game.
Another thing about matchups. I just spent the last 2 months running the NBA’s new 3 on 3 tournament called the NBA3x in 9 cities. We had everybody from known Streetballers to college players to overseas pros to even D-League Allstars show up and compete and in every city the team with the most “talent” lost to a smarter team with chemistry. Those big bad athletic teams breezed through the early rounds against teams that had no business being out there but never once won a championship game against a smart, and usually older, team. My favorite story was in Philly when a player (Elevator) caught a missed shot and dunked over 2 players (only 3 total) on the other team. While he and his teammates screamed and celebrated the 3rd guy on the opposing team ran straight to the 3 point line and casually sank a wide open 3 pointer. 1 minute later the game was over and the huge athletic team was looking shocked while the team of scrappy 5 footers were celebrating. I see the current Team USA as that athletic team that would celebrate after a dunk and I see the Dream Team as the team that would find a way to win because that’s what they were.
Kobe is the only player on the current Team USA that is unanimously called a winner. Magic, Bird & Jordan are known as 3 of the biggest winners of all-time and in 1992 many people considered them to be the 3 best players of all-time. Karl Malone & Barkley competed for the title of best forward in history. Stockton with two unbreakable records was right behind Magic as the best point ever. Robinson and Ewing were top 10 maybe 5 centers ever. Mullin made a case for best shooter and even Laettner made an argument for best college career ever. Drexler and Pippen were easily 1st ballot hall of famers. The team was so good that they could snub Isaiah Thomas and Shaq. Thomas is better than any point on Team USA and there’s only a few players on the current Team USA roster I would take over a rookie Shaq.
The team was the most flawless team ever assembled in sports and they never called 1 timeout during the Olympics. That’s how serious the games were. Competition was a joke and hearing a 33 year old Kobe talk about his current team beating the Dream Team with Jordan, Barkley, Pippen and gang still in their 20s is just as funny.