Projecting Michael Jordan's Stat Line vs. Every 2012 Team USA Opponent
The current version of Team USA has been compared relentlessly to the original Dream Team. So what would happen if Michael Jordan was on this 2012 squad?
I'm not talking about old Michael Jordan, but rather about using a time-traveling machine to bring prime M.J. into the present.
If that fantasy was allowed to become a reality, this is how he would perform.
Actual Olympic Performances
Michael Jordan was on Team USA twice during his illustrious basketball career. He first played with the Americans in 1984 and then notably joined the Dream Team in 1992.
During his first Olympic experience, Jordan helped the USA win gold by averaging 17.1 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game while earning a perfect 8-0 record.
In his second go-around, this time with the Dream Team, Jordan put up 14.9 points, 2.4 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game as the Americans dominated the competition once more.
Despite his dominance of the world of basketball, Jordan is more likely to take a role like the one with the Dream Team because of the greatness of this current squad.
In the game against France, Michael Jordan would take on more of a facilitating role.
Nicolas Batum is the premier perimeter defender on the French team, and he would end up guarding M.J.whenever they were both on the court. As a result, Jordan would exploit the mismatches elsewhere on the court and kick the ball to his open teammates early and often.
This is also where I get to explain that Jordan isn't going to be putting up 40 points per game against the international competition.
Could he? Absolutely.
However, the team is too stacked for that to be necessary and beneficial in any way. Just like the other superstars, Jordan has to share the spotlight.
Projected Stats: 10 points, three rebounds, six assists
If there's a game in which Michael Jordan is going to run roughshod over his opponent, it would be this contest against Tunisia.
Featuring Makrem Ben Romdhane and not much else, the Tunisians didn't stand a chance defensively against Team USA—even without Jordan. With the greatest player of all-time in his prime, it would have been even more of a blowout.
That said, there's still no reason for a scoring outburst from Jordan.
He'd likely be on the bench for the entire second half to preserve him for the later games.
Projected Stats: 12 points, six rebounds, four assists
Nigeria is much more of a defensive team than an offensive one, but they still wouldn't be able to keep Michael Jordan from throwing down a few highlight dunks.
Much like the game against Tunisia, though, this contest wouldn't be close, and a blowout would be in the works from the second quarter and onwards.
Jordan would hit double figures in the first quarter against the Tunisians, but his scoring would quickly drop off in the ensuing periods.
Projected Stats: 14 points, four rebounds, three assists
Lithuania struggled immensely on the defensive end of the court against Argentina, allowing 102 points in a loss to open the group stage.
That makes me seriously question whether they'd ever be able to stop Michael Jordan, especially since Argentina's 2-guard, some guy named Emmanuel Ginobili, dropped 21 points and six assists against them.
This would easily be Air Jordan's best game of the tournament.
Projected Stats: 23 points, four rebounds, six assists
Unless Manu Ginobili flopped enough to foul Michael Jordan out of the game, the tongue-showing 2-guard would be apple to put up one last solid performance during the group stage.
Argentina has had trouble containing wing players so far during the London Olympics, which means that Michael could score at a high level once more.
Projected Stats: 15 points, five rebounds, four assists