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LeBron thinks London Olympic team compares to Dream Team, too

Jan 3, 2012, 2:21 PM EDT

LeBron James, Beijing Olympics Getty Images

Team USA is not backing away from filling the big shoes.

Last week USA Basketball president Jerry Colangelo said he thought the upcoming USA Olympic team was a “fair comparison” with the 1992 Dream team that featured Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and others.

LeBron James thinks Colangelo is right, he told Chris Tomasson of Fox Sports Florida.

“I agree,” James said. “They set the standard for USA Basketball in ’92 with all the great players they had. But we have some great ones as well. We have some Hall of Famers, some champions. So it’s going to be a great (team).”

Dwyane Wade was a little more cautious.

“The Dream Team is a team, you don’t really want to touch that team,” said Wade, not wanting to say that 2012 will be see similar dominance. “An amazing team. But (2012 is) going to be a pretty good team. But I don’t want to touch the Dream Team… It’s always kind of the bar (from which all other Olympic teams are compared). From that standpoint, I kind of want them to stay the bar.”

If the upcoming Olympic squad played the Dream Team straight up… that would be interesting. Michael Jordan on LeBron James, Magic Johnson’s size against the quicker point guards like Derrick Rose and Chris Paul, plus Patrick Ewing vs. Dwight Howard.

But the impact will never be the same. Back in 1992 the Dream Team won every game by 40 points because they never had to play squads anywhere near their talent level. They helped change the trajectory of international basketball, and the current Team USA has to deal with that legacy in the form of some very good squads. Like Spain, who is a legitimate threat for the gold medal.

The current Team USA will not waltz though the competition nor will it have the legacy of that original squad. But on the court head-to-head, that would be interesting.

  1. troy10 - Jan 3, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    He just needs to keep his mouth shut and let D-Wade be the team “spokesperson”. All he does is echo was Wade says day earlier. He doesn’t have an original thought of his own.

  2. goforthanddie - Jan 3, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    Funny how when comparing the teams side-by-side…

    Michael Jordan on LeBron James, Magic Johnson’s size against the quicker point guards like Derrick Rose and Chris Paul, plus Patrick Ewing vs. Dwight Howard.

    Today’s biggest weakness would be leb. Michael would make him cry like Bosh after Game 6.

    And yes, he’s still an idiot. Why do people keep saying he’s grown up when he spouts ignorance like this every time he opens his trap?

    • nbascreed - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:04 PM

      Screed Fact: Lebron would actually be the toughest defender Jordan ever faced. Lebron can match Jordan on athleticism, quickness, elevation, strength, speed and height.

      • dexterismyhero - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:19 PM

        No heart though………………..

      • sasquash20 - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

        You must smoke some sweet green leaf. Jordan would toy with LeFraud until the 4th quarter, then Lefraud would shrink 6 feet and become invisible.

      • goforthanddie - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:21 PM

        REAL fact: leb chokes.

      • philtration - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:23 PM

        No brain either

      • silencegooddoer - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:01 PM

        Physically….yes the mold was broken that LeBron came from; however, mentally he has alot of growing to do. I don’t know that he is willing to endure the humbleness needed to mature. Although making the mother of his children legitimate is a big step.

        Also – Jordan has 10X the leadership that LBJ does. That is something you are born with, and cannot learn. This is why building a team around him alone did not work in Cleveland. He needed to go somewhere where he is not the team captain. In Cleveland he acted like the captain and made demands of one but never produced the results.

  3. somekat - Jan 3, 2012 at 2:44 PM

    Forget the fact that Jordan would eat Lebron up the whole time.

    Front line is Ewing, Barkely Bird with Robinson and Malone off the bench. They would flat out punish the new “dream team”, who only has one real big with Howard. The rest are just tall soft guys

  4. pudgalvin - Jan 3, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    This isn’t going to go over well…

  5. lameasish - Jan 3, 2012 at 2:52 PM

    The hate for LeBron makes me laugh everytime. Can you not just put your feelings for another man (lol) aside and just enjoy watching him play? U mad bro?

    • goforthanddie - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      You enjoy watching him play. We’ll enjoy mocking his ignorance. Everybody wins. Except the Heat in the Finals.

    • somekat - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:08 PM

      I don’t recall saying anything about MeBron except that Jordan would eat him alive….that is nothing but fact. Not much wrong with it, Jordan (circa 1992) would eat up anyone.

      Doesn’t change the fact that todays “bigs” would be abused by that team front line

      • sasquash20 - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:57 PM

        No doubt

    • nbascreed - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      Agreed. Didn’t you guys’ get enough schadenfraude last year?

      • goforthanddie - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:23 PM

        Nope. I’ll have my fill when he quits spouting ignorance.
        Translation: Apparently never.

  6. jjpt4540 - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    The new Dream Team might win. The Real Dream Team will be slowed down by the rings,gold medals and other hardware they’ve won.

  7. illcomm - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Great. Last time someone called their team the Dream Team, that team ended up 8-8. Good move Lebron. Lebron your job ain’t to declare Dream Teams, it is to be the best 1st and 2nd and 3rd quarter player ever. Let the true stars who finish games talk about this being a Dream Team. Less talk Lebron, more practice will do u good.

  8. sasquash20 - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    First off on what planet would you have Ewing start over Robinson? Robinson was way better then Ewing. That being said Ewing would still make Howard look like a silly school girl. Howard has no offensive moves at all. His defense while solid isn’t in the same league as Robinson’s defense. MJ was a SG so I would put him on Kobe/Wade, advantage MJ, Bird over LeFraud, I’ll take Stockton or Magic over any point that has ever played, Malone, and Barkley over what ever forwards they face from today, oh and the Dream team bench destroys todays lame ass stiffs.

    • gregjennings85 - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:24 PM

      Nuts. Men that size used to be a rarity. Howard would destroy Ewing. Destroy. Robinson, could actually wear him down, plus, he has a jumper. I think Durant could start at the 3, and rotate with Melo. Then, Howard at the 5, with Love at the 4. Just have Howard rebound.

      • jckid21 - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:54 PM

        Howard would destroy Ewing? You make as if Ewing was soft. He did average 21 points a game during a time when the bulk of his career was played in a defensive minded league. Where a foul was only called if you were MJ or was missing a limb. No disrespect to David Robinson, but he was no where near the scorer that Ewing was. Plus Ewing’s 18 foot jumper was virtually automatic and could create points on his own. Yes, Howard is big, but Ewing went up against Shaq, Hakeem Olajuwon, D. Robinson, and Alonzo Mourning all in their prime and performed like a HOF. What current NBA centers does Howard go up against that even sniff these 4? None.

        Son……consider your schooling over.

      • sasquash20 - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:48 PM

        Your wrong JCKID21, Robinson was a better scorer. For his career D.Robinson only averaged 21 a game, but keep in mind the last 5-6 years he took a back seat to Duncan and his points per game show this. Also have to give him made props for taking a back seat to Duncan, very selfless and almost unheard of in today’s NBA. At his peak years he averaged anywhere from 21.6-29.8 points a game. Ewing (no slouch at all) averaged from 20 points a game to 28.6 points a game. Bottom line both these guys would destroy Howard. The Admiral also average over 3 blocks a game and at his peak averaged 4.5 a game. He averaged in his peak years over 10 rebounds a game to almost 13.5 a game. Ewing averaged 2.4 blocks a game for his career, with his best year at 4 blocks per game. Ewing was a good rebounder as well coming in at around 10-12.5 a game for his peak years. Both the admiral and Ewing averaged over a steal a game as well. Howard who is a solid player, never faced the level of competition that the big men of Ewing and Robinson’s era faced. Howard averages more rebounds (I argue that more players sit outside and shoot 3s now then back in the Admiral’s era thus creating more chances for Howard) but only by 1-2 a game, he does average a steal as well, but where he comes up way short is scoring coming in at 18 points a game. with his peak years at 15.6-22 points a game. That is way under both Ewing and Robinson. Howard also isn’t the blocker that either was coming in at 2.2 a year for his career and a max of only 2.9 a game for his best season. Again not bad but not nearly as good as those two. Advantage the original DREAM TEAM.

      • sasquash20 - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:59 PM

        GreggJennings85- Robinson is taller and about the same weight as Howard. And Robinson was all muscle. Robinson and Ewing would destroy your boy Howard. I also love how you have a bunch of guys who never won anything beating multiple championship players. Also your taking Love over Barkley and Malone? Durant maybe when its all said and done but no way does Melo even come close to Bird. James is better match up but he doesn’t finish in big games either. Go do your home work

  9. a185 - Jan 3, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    LeBron is a good defender too so I don’t expect Jordan to run wild cause he’d be defended by either James, Wade or Kobe, all good defenders plus he’d have to waste energy guarding them… they’re gonna put up points and I don’t think Bird has a chance at stoping any of the small forwards so they’ll cancel each other out. And if LeBron plays the 4 none of their bigs could guard him or any of the other bigs on the perimeter. The Dream Team played against bums, they’re great but never had to play a close game. On a team with all those guys who takes the last shot… Jordan, Bird, Magic, Chuck, Ewing… who knows cause they blew everyone out… they’re not battle tested. This Team USA is battle tested.

    • nbascreed - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:11 PM

      Screed likey your analysis! You demonstrated an ability to evaluate players and a thorough understanding of the game (e.g. Jordan having to offend and defend) nice job!

      Pop Quiz – Should the Wolves offer K-Love a max ($84M) extension now or wait and see what he fetches on the open market? 3….2….1

      thenbascreed.blogspot.com

  10. cantonbound13 - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:49 PM

    LeBron doesn’t deserve to be on the same court as Jordan, Magic & Bird. All those guys did alot more than just talk. They actually lead their teams to multiple championships. They didn’t try to unite and lose championships like “The Chokin’ One”.

    • trueballs - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:04 PM

      Bird played with possibly the best frontline in the history of the game. Seriously, try to name 10 players in history better than McHale and Parish at their positions. several all-star teammates

      Magic played with a top 3 Center to ever play and superstar/HOFer James Worthy and several All-Star teammates.

      Jordan is Jordan. He’s in a league of his own. But his final 3 championships were with 2 HOF teammates.

      People love to remember the big names, but theres been only ONE team in that last 30 or so years that have won a championship without multiple all-stars/HOFers.

      • sasquash20 - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:27 AM

        While I agree that McHale and Parrish are all timers, not even close to the best all time. Just going recent I’ll take Duncan and Robinson over those 2. You could name 20 better Centers then Parish. McHale maybe 10 better PF/C. Bird commanded more then both of them anyway.

      • jckid21 - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:24 AM

        Parish and McHale were great, but I think Wes Unseld and Elvin Hayes & Duncan and Robinson were better. Some honorable mentions are:

        Billy Cunnigham and Wilt
        Worthy and Kareem
        Walton (When Healthy) and Lucas

  11. diablito0402 - Jan 3, 2012 at 4:59 PM

    Is lebrick your meal ticket kurt?

    • gregjennings85 - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      This was just weak. How about titling the article: “Colangelo thinks this team is right there with Dream Team…LeBron AgreEs.”

      Note the typo for Kurt authenticity.

  12. lakerluver - Jan 3, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    The original Dream Team is without doubt the greatest team ever assembled. IMO, Magic is the greatest pg ever, Bird the greatest sf ever, and MJ the greatest sg ever. Not to mention the 2nd & 3rd greatest pf’s ever (behind Duncan) Barkley and the Mailman. To me that trumps anything any other so called Dream Team can put on the floor.

    • trueballs - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      but athleticism has to count for something….We really don’t know how the matchups would work out. The players on the Dream Team were better all-around offensive players. But Dwight,LBJ,Wade are much better defenders than Barkley, Malone, Ewing. And Rose/CP3 would certainly give problems to stockton/Magic

      I honestly think Bird would average 15 pts/gm being defended by LBJ, but overall I’d say… 4-3 DreamTeam wins….

      • pudgalvin - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:20 PM

        Dude, Wade is an average at best defender. The only thing that even makes him look decent is that there aren’t very many good shooting guards to guard right now.

      • sasquash20 - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        Ewing is a better defender then Howard

  13. jollyjoker2 - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:49 PM

    whats he smoking?

  14. mornelithe - Jan 3, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Most athletes would have the respect and decency to wait until AFTER they’ve won ANYTHING to boast about their skill. I still think America has a massive, massive advantage in basketball, but counting your eggs before they hatch is a stupid, stupid philosophy and really allows you to let your guard down. Not smart for any sports athlete/team.

  15. gregjennings85 - Jan 3, 2012 at 9:15 PM

    You may hate LeBron as a person, like I hate Reggie Miller as a person, but I would never deny his talent. LeBron would have issues scoring on Jordan, sure. At the same time, MJ would be almost confused facing a bigger, quicker, more explosive version of himself.

    I don’t necessarily hate LeBron, but I do think he’s an all time talent just getting started.

    I think I would take Durant in an all-time one-on-one game, though…you can pick anyone you want.

    • pudgalvin - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:25 PM

      Well put gregjennings (despite you seeming to be a packer fan). I hate him as much as any other red blooded american, but the guy is 27 years old. I know he’s been in the league longer, but I think there’s probably a maturation process; he’s got a long, long way to go. They said the same thing about Jordan before he won. It especially pains me being a bulls fan to think that D Rose without some more help could be Miller/Barley/Ewing/Stockton/Malone.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:05 AM

      I’ll take Wilt Chamberlin over Durant and I’ll spot you 10 game to 11. Please the Stilt is the single greatest to ever lace them up. Had it not been for the greatest team ever in NBA history up in Boston Wilt would have way more then the 2 titles he has. No Jordan team ever faced a team anywhere near as good as that Celtics team.

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:53 PM

        You know your history, that’s for sure. Wilt was an unstoppable force, almost like a nuclear weapon, yet those perennial champion Boston Celtics stopped his team from winning many championships in the Bill Russell era. The original Dream Team happened 20 years ago, during which time the players were generally bigger, stronger, and more athletic. The question is would the incredible skill of guys like MJ, Magic, Bird, etc. overcome the evolutionary advantages today’s players have. Perhaps evolution takes longer than 20 years. Karl Malone was an incredible player, as was Abdul-Jabbar.

      • jsmith234512 - Jan 6, 2012 at 4:31 PM

        didnt jordan drop 63 on Birds Celtics in the playoffs? he single handly dismantled the celtics..

  16. wood5050 - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:17 PM

    what,s this guy on

  17. cullenand99 - Jan 3, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    As someone else said, you may hate LeBron as a person but if you deny his talent you obviously don’t know what talent is. Sure he doesn’t make the best PR moves, he chokes in the bright light, but people seem to froget that he is just 27 years old. His career is just getting started. If I recall corractly Jordan didn’t win his first championship until he was like 28 or 29. No way I am comparing him to Jordan, because no one will ever be on the same level as he was. But last season was LeBron’s first season on a team that actually had talent. Maybe he can actually win a championship now that he is out of that hell-hole of an organization known as the Cavaliers.

    • kchoya - Jan 9, 2012 at 4:20 PM

      Just getting started? He’s in his ninth season? Jordan won his third ring in his ninth season.

      Also, Pippen is a better defender than anyone on the 2012 team.

  18. bearsstillsuck - Jan 4, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    Lebron should just try to act like wade in every way possible. It must be rough not getting all the attention he wants though.

  19. jckid21 - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    sasquash20 YOU ARE WRONG!!!!! Yes Robinson did take a back seat to Duncan which might have cost him some points late in his career, but the Admiral played in a Western Conference which played little defense during that time. I mean the best defensive teams during the 90s in the Western Conference were the Jazz and Rockets and that ain’t saying much. Stick Ewing in the Western Conference at that time and he would have average 30 a game. Keep in mind that Robinson only averaged 20 or more points in 8 seasons against considerably weaker defenses night in and night out. Where as Ewing averaged 20 our more points 13 times against the likes of the Bulls, Pistons, Pacers, and Heat!!! Need I say more! Head to head it is virtually a wash. They played 19 games against each other and each averaged 20 points. To be fair to both players you should eliminate any match ups starting at the 2000 – 2001 season because Ewing was in Seattle and both were a shell of there former selves.

    Let me be clear I think Robinson is a great player and both he and Ewing are better than Howard. Personally I think Patrick as a player, is slightly ahead of the D. Rob.

    I think we can both agree that if Patrick played in the Western Conference during the late 80s and 90s his numbers would be so off the charts that this argument would even be taking place.

    • sasquash20 - Jan 4, 2012 at 7:25 PM

      I’m biased as I’m a sixers fan and hate Ewing, but I still take The Admiral over him. Not by much, but I still would. Ewing is a great player, but because hes a knick I can never put him ahead of a Navy man. Both kill anyone out there today at center.

      • jimeejohnson - Jan 4, 2012 at 8:55 PM

        Honesty like yours is rare. I agree that both eat up anyone out there today.

  20. dcviking - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:04 AM

    The biggest difference to me will always be heart — the “New Dream Team” doesn’t have enough of it. Jordan, Bird, Magic, Ewing — several of the most tenacious players ever. The originals never faced the better competition from the internationals like Team USA does today, but then again, we never how good they truly could be…

    Today, I see it in Kobe and Wade and Durant is getting there — not in Lebron and not in Howard.

    I would love to see Jordan vs. Lebron on evenly matched teams. In my mind, Jordan just steamrolls Lebron.

    But then again, maybe I’m just an old guy.

    • loungefly74 - Jan 5, 2012 at 1:18 PM

      good stuff. i agree for the most part. determination and heart is what separates these teams/players. agree, kobe and wade do show “old skool” heart.
      someone mentioned melo ina previous comment…good grief. melo couldnt hold anyones jock on the original dream team. yeah, he can shoot but plays zero D and has no heart.

  21. southbeachtalent - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    41 posts on a hypothetical game that will never happen. Classic PBT..

    As long as LeBron is mentioned in the title the same vultures always stop by. Getting old and dumb.

    blah blahblahblah blah ……..

    • sasquash20 - Jan 4, 2012 at 7:27 PM

      Just keep blowing LeFraud Douche bag. Don’t worry he will leave you hanging again in south beach. Got beat by a euro-whitey, nuff said.

      • trueballs - Jan 8, 2012 at 4:57 PM

        bitter much?

  22. datcrazybok - Jan 5, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Christian Laettner would definitely be the difference maker in this one…

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