There has been debate recently – as there is every four years – whether this year's USA Olympic basketball team is better than the 1992 Dream Team. Well, let's compare, shall we?
POINT GUARD: Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Russell Westbrook (2012) vs. John Stockton and Magic Johnson (1992) – Magic in his prime might be enough, but in 1992 he was in his 30s and on the downside of his career. Stockton was almost a non-entity in those Olympics. Neither could keep up with the three point guards on the 2012 team. Advantage: 2012 Team USA
SHOOTING GUARDS: Kobe Bryant and James Harden (2012) vs. Michael Jordan and Clyde Drexler (1992) – This is a joke, right? As much as Kobe might think he could handle Jordan, the current version wouldn't stand a chance against the 1992 version of Jordan. And the contest between those two really is the only one that matters. Advantage: Dream Team
WING ('SMALL' IS A STUPID WORD FOR THIS POSITION) FORWARDS: Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodola, LeBron James (2012) vs. Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen and Chris Mullin (1992) – When all is said and done, I'm not sure Lebron James won't be the GOAT. Throw in Durant and Anthony and it's not a contest. And yes, I still would have said that even if Larry Bird had been in his prime during 1992. Advantage: 2012 Team USA
POWER FORWARDS: Blake Griffin and Kevin Love (2012) vs. Christian Laettner, Karl Malone and Charles Barkley (1992) – Blake Griffin might be the best athlete of the bunch and Kevin Love is a special player, but Malone and Barkley were BEASTS in 1992. Most don't remember this, but Barkley and Malone were two of the three leading scorers on the Dream Team. You could clone Christian Laettner, strap him and his clone to Barkley and Malone's backs and they still probably beat Griffin and Love. Advantage: Dream Team UPDATE: An injured Blake Griffin was replaced by youngster Anthony Davis. Let's just say this doesn't help 2012 Team USA's case and move on.
CENTER: Tyson Chandler (2012) vs. David Robinson and Patrick Ewing (1992) – This is so patently unfair I really should give the Dream Team two points for this category. Advantage: Dream Team
FINAL TALLY: Dream Team 3, 2012 Team USA 2.
LIKELY SCORE IN ACTUAL GAME: Dream Team 130, 2012 Team USA 115
• Joe Grace is a writer and journalist who lives in Chicago with his wife. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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