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The debate that will not die: LeBron says 2012 team could beat Dream Team

Jul 27, 2012, 7:13 PM EDT

LeBron James of the 2012 USA Basketball Getty Images

Which update and debate is more annoying right now: 2012 Team USA vs. the Dream Team; or the Dwight Howard saga? It’s close for me, because at some point our Dwightmare will end but the unanswerable, theoretical Dream Team debate could go on seemingly forever.

Case in point: At a pre-Olympic media session on Friday in London LeBron James was asked if he agreed with Kobe Bryant that the 2012 team could beat the original Dream Team (an idea Michael Jordan and Barack Obama scoffed at).

What did you expect LeBron to say? Here is his quote, via AP and ESPN.

“The ’92 Dream Team paved the way for all of us … We understand what they did for our game, but we also are big-time competitors as well, so if we got the opportunity to play them in a game we feel like we would win, too,” James said.

Here’s the thing — if LeBron (or Kobe) had said “there is no way we could have beat the Dream Team” half of you would have jumped all over them for being soft and not competitive enough. But they are both competitive. Very competitive. They are guys who have had success on the court in part because they believe they will always have success on the court. You don’t want another mindset from your players.

So, if you ask them if they think they can win, there is only one answer a true competitor can give.

I think Kobe hit the nail on the head when he followed up on this issue — in a one-game situation this 2012 team could win. In the same way a team like Spain could beat the USA in the gold medal game this year in 2012. Play a seven game series and the outcome is pretty obvious (USA over Spain, and Dream Team wins) but the opponents are good enough to steal a game or two. And so it is like the NCAA tournament — for one night, yes this USA team could win. Doesn’t make them the better team.

Can we all just move on to the games now?

  1. omniusprime - Jul 28, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Queen James keeps proving he’s a total moron. Sorry but this year’s Olympic Team is good, the Dream Team was great and there’s just no comparison. LeBoring James wouldn’t be able to keep up with the likes of Magic or Bird or Jordan. I love Kobe’s competitive spirit but even he wouldn’t be able to overcome the greatness of the original Dream team.

  2. slippyal2 - Jul 28, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    They say the 2012 team has better athletes, but outside of Lebron and Russell I just don’t see it. Jordan, Pippen, Robinson, and Barkley weren’t dinosaurs. They were freak athletes themselves. I only imagine that Lebron would be the only one to get his shot consistently, the others would struggle.

  3. 32stork - Jul 28, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    The only thing this moron could beat against the real dream team is his pud. And of course he would hold a news conference to announce it. What an idiot.

    • donrwells3 - Jul 28, 2012 at 5:21 AM

      He was being interview by reporters on the first day of the Olympics like the other players were. He was asked a question so what would you suggest that he say? That they would lose?

      What are you, an idiot?

    • 132ave - Jul 28, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      waaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

  4. josh928 - Jul 28, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    And I’m sure lebron held a special press conference where he just wanted to say hey we would beat the dream team. No the media wants to ask every player who would win. Who cares? There is literally no way to prove who would win. So stop askin and stop gripin cause lebron or Kobe says these guys would win or MJ or Barkley says they’d win..

  5. The Prophet - Jul 28, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    Is this a debate? Does anyone other than the 2012 players think they are better than the Dream Team? maybe LeBron means if they literally played now they would win.

  6. lakerluver - Jul 28, 2012 at 2:53 AM

    The DT would win. But it would be because of their centers. I repeat what I said earlier, Kobe and LeBron are two of the top 10 players in the history of the NBA right now. After MJ what two guard could you put above Kobe? He is the closets player to MJ we’ve seen. In some regards he’s better. As for LeBron, before this year I thought Bird was the best small forward ever. Now it’s clear LeBron is and there is no one even close. LeBron is Magic, Pippen, and Dr. J all rolled into one. His weakness was never his skills. It was between his ears. I think this years Finals proved he’s a different player now. You may dislike Kobe and LeBron but if you put aside your biases and just look at their skills you can not deny the truth.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 28, 2012 at 9:22 PM

      Excellent commet. Biases = just another word for hate

  7. brenenostler - Jul 28, 2012 at 2:58 AM

    Yeah they could win one game against them, but that doesn’t mean they’re the better team.

    Here’s a question, who would win the most games out of seven? That’s the better team.

  8. donrwells3 - Jul 28, 2012 at 5:17 AM

    “Which update and debate is more annoying right now: 2012 Team USA vs. the Dream Team; or the Dwight Howard saga? It’s close for me, because at some point our Dwightmare will end but the unanswerable, theoretical Dream Team debate could go on seemingly forever.”

    Why are you annoyed? Do you not write about basketball for a living?

    It’s just all fun and games, Dwight is having a PR disaster and Team USA is having a bit of fun.

    I’d rather not read negative cynicism, you could be more positive about how you approach your articles.

  9. paulhargis53 - Jul 28, 2012 at 5:22 AM

    Careful everyone, I think 1972 and lakerluver are going to have a sword fight with the hardons they ate nursing for Kobe and James.

    What couple of douchebags.

  10. moseskkim - Jul 28, 2012 at 5:41 AM

    If the question is if 2012 could win, I say of course. Would they win? That’s a whole different question. I would put my money on the DT. 2012 has enough talent to beat that team. If the bobcats played the heat, yeah heat are the favorite. Bobcats can beat the heat though.

  11. rwindett - Jul 28, 2012 at 6:04 AM

    The only reason Kobe and crew could be the dream team is that the dream team is in their 40′s. The 92′dream team is and always will be the best team ever. They were more dominant then these guy’s, could ever hope to believe,their first game last week proves.

  12. invaiduh - Jul 28, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    the only people (players/fans) that ever think the any of the “dream teams” could beat the original are the ones too young to remember them. period.
    yes I get your point in one game anything can happen but….naaaa.

  13. latchbeam - Jul 28, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Some of the guys from the old dream team can barely walk now…

  14. oldmanbasketball - Jul 28, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    Kobe and LeBron are RIGHT. Jordan is the only member of DT would could keep up with the current team. Everyone is getting overly romantic about the DT. They didn’t play anybody, Bird and Magic were way past their primes, no one on DT could’ve stopped LeBron…let’s keep it real, friends.

    • brianjoates - Jul 28, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      Nobody could play with the Dream Team, they did play against NBA talent.

  15. paulhargis53 - Jul 28, 2012 at 9:17 AM

    1972: I’d call you other things, but it wouldn’t post. Why so suprised? I’m sure you are called worse on a daily basis.
    Don’t bother Lakerluver, hopefully he’s reading the cba and getting his facts straight about that.

    As for the douchbag comment, if the shoe fits….. I notice you didn’t deny the part about the sword fight though. You savage!

    • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Paulie-

      When talking trash on this ridicu;ous website, I never even consider bringing up anything related to male genetailia. If I’m talking trash about stupid basketball, and I can’t give someone a hard time without going right to a dick joke, I’d probably decide not to comment at all.

      Come up with something good or don’t come up with something at all.

      • 1972wasalongtimeago - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        Unless of course I’m making a joke about Greg Oden.

  16. lakerluver - Jul 28, 2012 at 10:38 AM

    @brianjoates, I have never, I said NEVER heard anyone say D. Wade’s game resembles MJ’s!! Maybe when MJ was in the 10th grade!!

    • brianjoates - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Go watch some old games from the late 80′s of MJ and you will see it. Its the athletic attacking of the basket and being able to adjust at any moment even in the air.

      The jumper is not similar at all. Wades game is clearly influenced by attempting to mimick MJ’s game by a kid growing up in Chicago.

  17. lakerluver - Jul 28, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    As for “Mr. Capologist” himself, paulhargis, why do they allow the mentally challenged on this site?! I guess banning you would be discrimination. But it would do us all a favor!! On the other hand, you are good for laughs with your dumb rants about chit you know nothing about. Dude, how can a dunce such as yourself with an associates degree in accounting think you can decipher the “new” CBA?!! My point exactly, you can’t. At least not realistically. But keep on trying, my friend. Yeah, the Dream Team would probably beat this squad. But I still say Kobe and LeBron are as good as anyone who has ever picked up a basketball. I would pay money to see Kobe/LeBron v. MJ/Pippen in their prime. I’m picking the former. Hey, paulhargis,that means I’m picking Kobe/LeBron, you meathead!! Good day all.

  18. footballer4ever - Jul 28, 2012 at 10:54 AM

    Ask them again after the olympics if the “dreamers” team were not to win the gold medal in London. Let’s see if they will even want to hear that question again.

  19. eaglesfan723 - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    I got an idea…STFU. I’m tired of hearing this crap. You can match up today’s basketball players to ones 20+ years ago. The game has changed, players have change…lets move on.

    • eaglesfan723 - Jul 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

      you CAN’T match up*

  20. lakerluver - Jul 28, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Dude, that’s like saying if I were 7 inches taller and could dribble better my game would resemble a young Magic Johnson’s. But seriously, I get your point. Kobe has every move MJ had and in some regards he’s better. I know a lot of MJ lovers won’t admit it though. The only way to settle this debate is to have seen them play against each other in their primes. I can honestly say that the two greatest wing players I’ve ever seen in my 40 plus years are MJ and Kobe probably in that order. However, LeBron has a chance to join them.

  21. paulhargis53 - Jul 28, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    1972, that’s the difference between you and I. I see the humor in everything.
    You lack a sense of humor.

    As for Lakerluvers post, you can rest,assured whatever he posts on here is flat out wrong. He is as dumb as a bag of hammers.

  22. gunpowderjones - Jul 28, 2012 at 6:31 PM

    MJ had the second highest vertical. On the Chicago White Sox. Ignore the crazy vertical numbers you hear

  23. challenger15 - Jul 28, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Never again, will we see the likes of the Dream Team. Unbeatable, unforgettable!

  24. diablito0402 - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:15 AM

    Karl malone, charles barkley, david robinson, patrick ewing, and magic jonhson posting up chris paul who is 7″ shorter than he is, Jordan vs lebron, jordan by a mile, kobe vs pippen well kobe but thats it, no answer for 92 dreamteam biggs, please people..

    • scorp16 - Jul 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      You do realize Charles Barkley is 6’6 and Karl Malone is 6’9 right? If the basis of your argument is that Charles Barkley is going to post up a 6’10 Kevin Durant you must be smoking something really good. Fat Charles would be run off the court by the second period.

      But if you want to talk about posting up, Lebron at 6’8 250 would post up a 6’6 200 pound Jordan all day every day. MJ wouldn’t be able to guard Lebron. I wonder how Malone would do guarding Durant on the perimeter. Durant would blow by him like he was standing still.

      92 had 2 7 foot centers. After that the tallest player was 6’9 and that was Malone and a way past his prime Bird. People making way too much do the size issue. 2012 team is much more athletic than 92.

      Your argument is like saying the 72 Dolphins, the only undefeated team in the NFL would have beaten this years NY Giants. The Giants would have beat them by 30

      • borderline1988 - Jul 30, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        You’re right…Durant and Lebron would give the DT fits, because they simply do not have the personnel to guard either of them.

        I also think that Russell Westbrook shouldn’t be overlooked…he’d blow by any of the DT’s guards. That guy is crazy fast and athletic.

        But DT is still better b/c they have the ability to score in the post, and clog the post on the defensive end. They would force the current team to shoot jumpers (which has been the current team’s achilles heal…Argentina almost beat them with that strategy…).

        I don’t buy into all the nostalgia for the Dream Team. Barkley, Malone, Robinson & Ewing were all very good and HOF players, but today’s scoring PFs in Lebron, Durant, and even Carmelo were just as good. Carmelo is actually the most similar to Barkley when he’s in the post.

        But the Dream Team was more complete. Tyson Chandler has looked terrible. He can’t stay out of foul trouble. Maybe if Duncan and Howard were on the current team, I’d say they are better than the DT. But not this team as is.

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