OLYMPIC HOOPS:<br />
Keeping the Dream Alive?<br />

USA Basketball’s 1992 "Dream Team" vs 2012 Team

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Tyson Chandler, Anthony Davis, Kevin Durant, Rudy Gay, Eric Gordon, Blake Griffin, James Harden, Andre Iguodala, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams, but would this team stack up to The Dream Team? Let’s look at this closely.

Point Guard

1992 – John Stockton, Magic Johnson

2012 – Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook

Well, I hate to show my age, but I feel like Magic Johnson could take out all three of these 2012 point guards and I certainly am not trying to take anything away from the talent that Deron Williams, Chris Paul and Russell Westbrook have. They are arguably the best PGs in the League today. Of course, you would have to throw in Derrick Rose, who is injured right now. I would give the London guys the edge over John Stockton, but I would rather have Magic with a serviceable backup than the three of them. Magic is 6-9 and not skinny so, he could back his man down if he needed to even if there was a forward covering him on a switch. He could also handle the ball as well as the smaller Deron Williams and Chris Paul. While Westbrook is taller than the other two, he is more of a slasher who can catch the ball and put it right in the hoop. That’s good coming from the three position but, not so much from the point.

Edge: 1992

Shooting Guard

1992 – Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler

2012 – Kobe Bryant, James Harden

Is this where we say that Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan are a wash? Do they cancel each other out? I don’t think so. As great as Kobe is, MJ was the best to ever do it. They both have amazing all around games on both ends of the floor, but I hope no one reading this is inclined to say that Kobe has the edge over Michael. If you are, then you clearly have never seen Michael play. As far as Clyde the Glide vs. James Harden, I would think that in ’92, Clyde was more of a seasoned player than Harden is right now. In ’92, Clyde had years of experience whereas in 2012, Harden is still rookie-ish. In fact, he may be one of the weaker spots overall on this 2012 team.

Edge: 1992

Small Forward

1992 – Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Chris Mullin

2012 – LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Iguodala

Bird was undeniably a superstar in his day and Scottie Pippen has six rings (courtesy of Michael), but at the three position, you would have to give the edge to the 2012 team. When all is said and done, LeBron could be the best to ever play the game (if he could just develop a killer instinct) and Durant will be up there as well. Carmelo has the ability to put the ball in the basket every time it touches his hands and Iguodala…well, he may be the most exciting dunker in the NBA. I don’t know how many wins that translates to, but it certainly keeps the fans watching. Iggy is also one of the best defenders playing the game today so, at some point they may need him to shut down a hot Nigerian or something. The small forward position seems crowded on this 2012 team, but Iggy can slide down to shooting guard if needed (he’s a better two-guard than Harden anyway) and Carmelo can move up to the power forward spot. They may need Carmelo to do that because with only one true center on the team, one of the power forwards is gonna have to put in some time at center.

Edge: 2012

Power Forward

1992 – Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Christian Laettner

2012 – Blake Griffin, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love

Like Drexler at the two, experience comes into play here. Charles Barkley was not afraid of anyone and played with a take no prisoners style. Surely you remember him elbowing that Angolan player that he claims was trying to push him around. You’ve probably also seen him body slam Shaq during that on-court altercation they had. Charles was an intimidator and even at 6'4, he could do it in a way that the 6'10 Blake Griffin, 6'10 Kevin Love or the 6'11 Chris Bosh will never be able to. Oh, and do I even have to bring Karl Malone into this?

Edge: 1992

Center

1992 – Patrick Ewing, David Robinson

2012 – Tyson Chandler

The injury to Dwight Howard kind of hurt this team’s roster, leaving them with only one center. There are a couple of guys that can help out when Chandler goes to the bench but that still makes for a weak combo at this spot. I’m sure lots of people would wanna fight me, but I just may take Tyson Chandler over David