USA Basketball in the Olympics: Old School or New School?

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USA Basketball in the Olympics: Old School or New School?

With the 2008 Redeem Team recently recapturing the gold in Beijing, many have begun to wonder who would win if the two stoic teams met. 

To me, the answer is simple: Tthe 1992 Dream Team would win. Not only would they win, but they would possibly win by double digits. The 1992 team is probably eight-to-12 points better than the 2008 team, for a variety of reasons.

First, the 1992 team was bigger on the frontline with Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. The 2008 team features a great deal of athleticism and versatility on the perimeter, but, outside of Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, the 1992 team would simply dominate down low.

Secondly, the 1992 team was a little more experienced in age (an average age of 29 to 26) and NBA experience (an average eight years to six).

Lastly, the 1992 team was simply more unselfish, playing more of a team game (30 assists per game to 18). 

To further back up my argument for the 1992 team, the stats speak for themselves:

 

Dream vs. Redeem


1992     
2008     
W-L 8-0 8-0
PPG 117.3 106.3
Opp PPG 
73.5 78.4
Margin of win               
+43.8 +27.9
FG pct 57.8 55.0
Opp FG pct 36.5 40.3
APG 29.9 18.8


Source: Associated Press/ESPN

 

While I understand that that the popularity of basketball has grown and, consequently, the rest of the world has become a lot more competitive since 1992, the original dream team would still find a way to dominate.

 

 

Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, and Lebron James without question would be among the best players in any generation. However, another telling  difference between the two teams is that all 10 of the NBA players on the 1992 team were named to the NBA’s 50 Greatest Players List.

The 2008 team will probably only have five or six players who could be considered in the same breath of the NBA’s top 50 when it is all said and done. This speaks volumes to the talent and depth that the 1992 team possessed. 

There is no question that this would be a matchup for the ages. The thought of seeing  the big three for each squad in James, Bryant and Wade going head-to-head with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, would provide many chills. But in the end, the depth, size, experience, and unselfishness would give the 1992 team many advantages to lead them to victory. 

Would you be the one to bet against a Jordan-led team? I wouldn’t.

 

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