Hello my fellow basketball nerds, sorry I have been gone so long but I have just been sitting back waiting for a topic controversial enough to dissect.
Earlier in the week, Kobe Bryant said he thinks the current 2012 USA Basketball Team could defeat the legendary “Dream Team” from 1992.
Some thought this was a blasphemous statement because the Dream Team is considered the greatest team ever assembled. Of course this could never happen but for the sake of fun, why not break down this mythical matchup.
I totally agree with Kobe and I will specifically show you why.
Magic Johnson/John Stockton vs Chris Paul/D.Williams/Westbrook
There is no way Magic could ever lose a one on one matchup with another point guard right? Well you’re right. Unfortunately for the Dream Team, the 2012 has the best point guard compilation ever. Magic is the greatest PG of all time and Stockton is great but they played in the weakest era of point guards ever. Shoot, Scott Brooks started in the NBA at point guard at that time!! Paul is enough to handle by himself but as soon as the substitution buzzer sounds another top five point guard walks out there. The three headed monster at point guard for the 2012 team is too athletic and skilled for an old and HIV positive Magic Johnson.
Michael Jordan vs Kobe Bryant
I honestly don’t believe I can do this matchup justice. This would be the matchup that I would watch the closest. Of course Jordan is the greatest player ever at this time and could not be stopped. But if i had to choose one player who I knew would not be intimidated or passive of the moment I would select Kobe Bean Bryant. I would give Jordan an advantage over Kobe but I believe Kobe would stop Jordan from dominating the game by himself. If Kobe gets tired then they could always put the best defender in the game on MJ in Lebron James. 2012 team has so many options to defend Jordan.
Kevin Durant/Carmelo Anthony vs Scottie Pippen/Larry Bird
Scottie Pippen in his hay day was one of the best defenders I have ever seen but he has never seen anyone like Kevin Durant before. Pippen has never had the assignment of guarding someone 6’10,long,athletic, and “smoove” as KD. I think KD would have a tough time dribbling on the outside versus Pipp but I think KD would be just fine just catching and shooting off of screens. And as if you were not tired enough from chasing KD around then here comes a big physical small forward who can pound you down low in Carmelo Anthony. I have too much respect for Larry Bird to specifically describe what KD and Melo would do to an aging Bird on the perimeter. Lets just say that would be one of those moments where everyone knows who the weak link on the court is. “Mismatch”
LeBron James/Blake Griffin vs Karl Malone/Charles Barkley
This is a rather interesting matchup because of the similarity in size. Barkley is the only one shorter than 6’8. As great as Malone and Barkley are I know they cannot guard Lebron James on the perimeter and in some spots in the posts. With LeBron playing point forward Malone and Barkley would be in areas on the court where they are not as comfortable. Whenever Griffin checks in the Dream Team has a distinct advantage at power forward. Malone would destroy him with his deadly mid-range game and Barkley would have Blake frustrated with his all-around game and ferociously going after rebounds.
Tyson Chandler/Anthony Davis vs Patrick Ewing/David Robinson
We all know this is an obvious advantage in the Dream Team’s favor. The Ewing and Robinson combination would cause havoc on offense and defense. I do believe Chandler will do a solid job of containing the bigs but I think he would get wore out. Davis obviously is not ready for this situation yet in his career but i do believe he would do a good job of altering shots of guards who drive into the lane.
Key Role Players
I believe Harden will win the matchup with Mullin but will have to step his game up against Drexler. Kevin Love will be a X-factor because he will draw one of those seven footers out of the lane which will open up lanes for Durant,Kobe, and Lebron. Andre Iguodala will be key in spots when guarding MJ, Drexler, or Pippen.
I just believe the 2012 USA Team’s versatility would overwhelm the Dream Team. The options Coach K has is frankly unfair with the ability to move KD,Melo, Kobe, and Lebron around on the floor. Giving the greatest basketball coach ever all this amo will be the key factor to a 2012 USA Team win.