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Jordan laughs at idea current Olympic team could challenge Dream Team

Jul 12, 2012, 1:23 PM EDT


Just like Charles Barkley… what did you really expect Michael Jordan to say?

We’ve told you Kobe Bryant said he thought this current team could beat the Dream Team (because guys like Magic and Bird were at the end of their careers), that Mike Krzyzewski (who was an assistant coach in 1992) didn’t blow the idea out of the water, and that Charles Barkley said no way.

Michael Jordan, he just laughed, according to the AP.

Jordan told The Associated Press Thursday that he laughed — “I absolutely laughed” — when hearing Bryant’s comments that the squad training in Las Vegas could take Jordan and company.

“For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done,” Jordan said prior playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Charlotte….

“I heard Kobe say we were not athletic,” said a smiling Jordan as he sat in a golf cart puffing on his cigar while waiting to tee off. “But we were smart. He said we were too old, but I was 29 and in the prime of my career. Pip (Scottie Pippen) was 26 or 27, (Charles) Barkley was 29, Patrick (Ewing) was 29 and Chris Mullin was 29. Almost everybody was still in their twenties.”

By our nature, people tend to romanticize the past. We think things were simpler when we were younger, that the world was clearer, when that has never been true. We also tend to romanticize sports teams from the past compared to today. We think the NBA was better in the 1980s and 90s than it is now — no, it is not. There were terrible teams and selfish players and horrific isolation basketball and terrible defense then too. We just tend to forget all that and focus on the good in our minds.

No doubt the Dream Team was a great team, one that changed basketball in a way the current team never could because of circumstance. But to suggest they are light years better than the current team is wrong — the Dream Team was flawed but their competition was much, much weaker. They never got tested the way this year’s team will.

I’d still take the Dream Team in a matchup, but it’s close. Closer than people want to admit. Including Jordan.

  1. charlutes - Jul 12, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Sorry MJ 92 would get dominated.

  2. fotydaze - Jul 12, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    Barkley is on point, and don’t forget mullins and bird are better jump shooters than Durant, pippen would d-up every player on this years team including weak jump shot lebron. I would love to see CP3 as magic backs him down and chandler wouldn’t have been a starter back then because centers had to be able to score. Both 92 centers would abuse him, they’re hall of famers chandlers never will be. 33 year old kobe guarding 29 year old MJ yeah mj was right to laugh. He can’t guard Westbrook right now how’s he gonna guard him.

  3. oldmanbasketball - Jul 12, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Sorry MJ, Dream Team wouldn’t win a game. Quite simply, you have no answer for LeBron James, other than to double team him. That leaves Kobe or Durant open. Just too much fire power on today’s team. And today’s modern athlete has evolved so much. It’s really not even fair to compare. Too much speed. Speed kills. Mike, you might be able to compete against today’s players; Magic and Bird in their primes, yes (but not where they were in 92) but the rest of the 92 team, I’m sorry to say – not even close. Barkley? Pippen? Are you kidding? Today’s player would play circles around them. Coach K. knows this – that’s why he didn’t shoot Kobe down.

    I’ve been playing and watching this game for 40+ years. I know I’ll get flamed, but…

    Kobe is right.

  4. imforbigblue - Jul 12, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Kobe couldn’t carry Jordan’s jock strap don’t get it twisted

  5. thraiderskin - Jul 12, 2012 at 6:52 PM

    whoa… everyone needs to relax.. Kobe said “could” not “would.” 1 in 10 tries is still a “could.” If I was going to argue anything, its today’s athletes are bigger, faster and stronger. While skill is still skill, there is absolutely no argument that this NBA’s stars are physical specimens, greater than those from the 80s-90s.

  6. cheers4ablumpkin - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Lol at this. Set it up right now. 3on 3 lerbron Kobe durant vs Jordan pippen bird. Would pay to watch it

  7. norcalcard - Jul 12, 2012 at 8:39 PM

    The thing none of the old school dream teamers want to think about is most of those guys didn’t bother playing much defense like Lebron, Kobe, Durant do now days. And honestly not one of those guys ever had to face a player anything like a Lebron James. or A Kevin Durant. Now take Barkley, Malon, Great forwards who weren’t near the athletes of today, But the league was full of slow big men that teams loved to stockpile back then. And Charles and Karl Malon absolutely feasted on them not to mention getting like half their points at the free throw line because teams answer to guard them were to throw a slow big white guy on them and use all his 5 fouls to give. A pretty common tactic back then.

    Yes those players in that era played with much more basketball intelligence. But no one wants to realize that if both teams could actually face off against each other. It might very well be shocking to see how much slower Kobe’s Olympic squad would make the original Dream Team look. I can only really see Hakeem Olajuan or maybe Pippen able to keep up with them. Chris Mullens? Larry Bird? Magic? C’mon man, Their going to guard Kevin Durant?? It would be embarrassing. Better to let fond memories of what those elite players of the PAST stay there.

  8. crab2323 - Jul 12, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    This is laughable at best, this years team would get pounded by 92 team!

  9. warsal - Jul 12, 2012 at 10:27 PM

    Where is Marty McFly and the Delorian (stretch limo style) when you need them? Bottom line…no one knows who would win for sure, sh!t happens

  10. j0esixpack - Jul 12, 2012 at 11:17 PM

    I must be the only person who thinks Kobe Bryant is right.

    The 2012 Dream Team probably would beat the 1992 Dream Team

    But I think it would be a very close game. After all, Jordan is 49, Magic is 52, Larry Bird is 55 – and has a bad back – and everyone else on the roster is approaching AARP age as well. 😉

    (With a tip of the hat to George Halas:

    “I was interviewing George Halas and I asked him who is the greatest running back he ever saw. He said, ‘That would be Red Grange.’ And I asked him if Grange was playing today, how many yards do you think he’d gain. And he said, ‘About 750, maybe 800 yards.’ And I said, ‘Well, 800 yards is just okay.’ He sat up in his chair and he said, ‘Son, you must remember one thing. Red Grange is 75 years old.’”

    – Chris Berman on ESPN Classic’s SportsCentury series.)

  11. thelakeshow562 - Jul 13, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    I’m the biggest Kobe fan but Jordan’s team better

  12. chi01town - Jul 13, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Kobe has LOST HIS MINE, the Dream Team would smoke the USA team easy, .. Kobe is still trying to compair his self to JORDAN.. HA HA HA .. THATS FUNNY. Kobe you will NEVER be LIKE MIKE. Give it up an try to bring home the gold.

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