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Colangelo says 2012 Olympic squad “fair comparison” with Dream Team

Dec 30, 2011, 1:15 PM EDT

Olympics Day 16 - Basketball Getty Images

The 2012 United States Olympic team will land in London the overwhelming favorites for the gold medal.

But they will not just be battling Spain — the best team in their way and a legitimate threat — they will be battling history. 2012 will be the 20th anniversary of the original Dream Team — Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley and more on a team that strolled to the gold medal and changed the trajectory of international basketball.

USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo thinks the 2012 will be favorably compared to the Dream Team. He spoke with Chris Tomason of Fox Sports Florida.

“I think it will be a fair comparison with the Dream Team,” the USA Basketball chairman said in a phone interview Thursday with FOX Sports Florida about what can be expected from his team in London two decades after the Dream Team took gold in Barcelona in 1992. “Look at the progress our players have made since (winning Olympic gold in) 2008. We have some of the greatest players of all time.

“You’re hearing Kobe (Bryant) right up there with the greatest of all time. Dwayne Wade and LeBron (James) are right up there. You’ve got to add up the names, and you look at the young guys like (Kevin) Durant as an example and (Derrick) Rose as an example. There’s so many. There’s only been one Dream Team, and that’s the way I think it should be. But there’s no question our team will be much stronger than we had in 2008. They’re more mature, more experienced and we’ve got more talent.”

Team USA is going to have to be chosen without a training camp — rosters have to be submitted by June 20, while the NBA finals may not end until June 26 (they could end earlier, but not enough for a camp). We’ve talked before about some of the tough decisions in store for Coach K and his Team USA staff. In late January USA Basketball will release a list of 18-20 finalists for the team. In June, the 12-player roster plus up to six alternates will be submitted as the Olympics roster.

Team USA will open training camp in Las Vegas July 5. The Olympics begin three weeks later.

  1. madnova - Dec 30, 2011 at 2:01 PM

    Well, as long as they don’t bring in a Christian Laettner type, they should compare depth-wise.

    The difference is that the Dream Team’s players were all established as not just superstars, but HOF locks at that point.

    At least that’s how I remember it. 😉

  2. makjak2 - Dec 30, 2011 at 2:25 PM

    Damn, we dominated in ’08 and I never even thought about the fact that these guys are better than before… scary.

  3. pudgalvin - Dec 30, 2011 at 2:43 PM

    No matter what team you’re talking about, the team with Jordan, Magic, and Bird is always going to be better. Best player of the last 40 years, best point guard ever, top 3 small forwards of all time, best perimeter defender of all time, probably the best shooter of all time, 4 hall of fame big men; it just doesn’t get any better.

    You can argue about the modern day athlete being better (if you never watched guys like Pippen or Drexler. Pippen in his prime would still defend the hell out of guys like Durant or Lebron), but I’d still take the Dream Team. No one’s getting to the basket when you’re being defended by Magic, Jordan, Pippen, Barkley and Ewing or Robinson. 2012 might have more firepower, but it wouldn’t have the defense.

    • jobotjones - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:17 PM

      I agree all the way, Dream Team could defend guys like Durant and Wade well enough, there is noone in todays game that could defend Bird, Jordan, Magic, Ewing, Chuck, or Robinson let alone any 5 of that group at the same time.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:29 PM

    “I think it will be a fair comparison with the Dream Team,”


    or even



  5. sasquash20 - Dec 30, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    This is a joke right. MJ>Kobe, Bird>LeFraud, Magic is the greatest point guard ever! Then you have D.Robinson, not one of today’s big men even hold a candle to him. I’ll take the dream team and lay the 25 pts

    • abasketballthing - Dec 30, 2011 at 8:04 PM

      D. Robinson wasn’t that great. He wasn’t even the best big man on that team. Ewing and Malone were more dominant for a longer period of time. Dwight Howard can certainly hold a candle to Robinson.

      • pudgalvin - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:42 PM

        Robinson was a pretty darn good center, but I won’t argue about Howard. He’s one guy that would fit right in on that team.

  6. goforthanddie - Dec 30, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    Give me a fscking break. No team they could put together now would be worthy of wiping MJ/Magic’s/Bird’s rumps.

  7. theghostofwillisreed - Dec 31, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    kurt. stop. seriously.

    you just sound silly here.

  8. mrhoop - Jan 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    Yes, the ’92 squad was the dream team but I still like the ’96 team from the Atlanta games— Why? look who they had at the post: David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon and SHAQ ( in his prime) those three in rotation would dominate! throw in former “92 dream teamers like Barkley, Malone Pippen and Stockton and a legit 3-point shooter in Reggie Miller and round out the squad with Grant Hill, A. Hardaway, Gary payton and Mitch Richmond I say that squad rates up their with the best—— your thoughts?

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