A few weeks before the London Olympics began, one of today’s greatest NBA players came forth and made a gutsy statement. It was Kobe Bryant and his statement went something like, “The 2012 Dream Team would beat the legendary 1992 Dream Team.” As confident as Kobe may have been in making that call, the only thing I can say about it is that I would love to see that game. Whether the 2012 USA team could beat the official Dream Team or not, one thing is for certain: there was no team in the London Olympics that could beat the highly-talented 2012 squad.
The USA Basketball team entered the London Olympics with a roster so impressive even the non-basketball enthusiast had to tune in for a game or two. With guys like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook, this “New Dream Team” featured some of the most explosive players the NBA has ever seen. Through their eight-game schedule one could see why Kobe’s statement may not have been as outlandish as everyone thought in the beginning. The group of NBA all-stars found their groove early taking out France and Tunisia by more than 25 points before a truly remarkable display against Nigeria, winning 156 – 73. Lithuania gave the US team its first close call as they squeaked out a 99 – 94 win.
The U.S. managed to get back on track against Argentina, then in the quarterfinals as we matched our b-ball favorites up against Australia, who the U.S. managed to dismantle by 33 points to move into the semifinals. Knocking out Argentina again 109 – 83, the U.S. was pitted again Spain, who also has some high-quality NBA talent. The gold medal game would be the second close call for USA in the London Olympics, but the star-studded managed to come out on top 107 – 100 to bring home some bragging rights and the 2012 gold medal.
Back to Kobe’s pre-Olympic statement, the 2012 team was no doubt the best team at the London Olympics, but were they better than that 1992 team that combined some of the greatest players of all time? Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and oh yeah, that one guy… Michael Jordan was his name? In a brief statistic comparison the answer is a no. I will be the first to say that just comparing statistics in any sport doesn’t mean much but in this comparison we will never know for sure, so stats is all we have and they don’t lie. Yes, both teams went undefeated and won the Gold but the 1992 team did it beating their opponents by an average of 44 points with the highest margin of defeat at 79. Not to take anything away from Lithuania, but the 2012 U.S. team barely managed a victory in that game. I think it’s safe to say we may never see another team like the great 1992 Dream Team, but we will let this 2012 group of young greats slide in and have the slot as the second greatest Dream Team…for now at least.
The TicketCity play of the week goes out to the 2012 USA Olympic basketball team and their feat to add another gold medal to the list. Congrats to them and enjoy this compilation of highlights from the London Olympics.