August 06, 2008
Dream Team I vs. Dream Team III
Now that the Olympic preliminary games are over for Men’s Basketball, the comparisons between the 1992 Dream Team and the 2008 Dream Team are starting rev up. Now I don’t think there will EVER be a team better than one that consisted of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Isaiah Thomas, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, David Robinson, Chris Mullin, & Christian Laettner. Besides the last two (Mullin & Laettner), the entire team was comprised of 11 of the original 50 greatest players in NBA history. I mean, I don’t even think there’s another sports team that can even boast that fact.
So now its 16 years later and a young, talented group of NBA stars are donning the red, white, and blue for their country. Granted, in those years there was a lot of turmoil within both the NBA and in USA Basketball. International competition flourished, Hip-hop fashion was banned, 18 year olds were barred from entering the league without playing for a collegiate institution first, and Ron Artest started punching fans in the face.
There was no way David Stern or any of the NBA brass was going to send their elite players to the Olympics to not return with the gold medal, only to have the league’s reputation tarnished again. I mean this summer alone more NBA players have signed contracts with foreign teams than in any other year. The quality of international play is much better than any of the teams that the 1992 Dream Team had to face. So instead of reminiscing on the “good ‘ol days” of USA Basketball when we would devour other countries teams for lunch, we should root for and respect Dream Team III because they have the hardest quest to the gold medal than any other team before them.
- Steve Tyson Jr.