Ok, with all the yapping between Kobe, Jordan, and Barkley, I figured I needed to take a hard look at both squads and decide once and for all who makes the team.
It’s important to note that I am comparing the 1992 version of the players on the dream team against the current 2012 Olympic team to decide who would make a 'mega Dream Team' comprised of both squads.
Remember, this is a team. That means we need the best players at each position to make up that team to win. We can’t take the 12 best point guards or the 12 best forwards. We need a mix. We also must remember we aren’t comparing player's careers. We are simply comparing the players on the 1992 team, as they were in 1992, against the players on the 2012 team, as they are today.
With that said, a few names are absolute givens, and anyone that even debates them either knows nothing about basketball or is a crack addict. Everyone on planet earth should be able to agree that Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Patrick Ewing and David Robinson are definitely on. That gives us 7 more slots to fill.
The team definitely needs a true point guard. The players that fall into this category are John Stockton, Russell Westbrook, and Magic Johnson.
1992 Stockton: 15.8 points, 13.7 assists, 3.5 turnovers, 3.0 steals
1992 Johnson: DNP. During Olympics 8 points, 5.5 assists, 1 turnover, 1 steal.
2012 Westbrook: 23.6 points, 5.5 assists, 4.6 rebounds.
I’d love to put Magic on the team, but realistically I don’t think he gets the call. I’d say Stockton wins out. His numbers are solid. His assists are very impressive, his basketball IQ and decision-making are what give me a significant edge over Westbrook.
Now lets compare 2-guards. In this category we’ve got Chris Mullin, James Harden, and Clyde Drexler could fall into this category too. We’ve already got a few 2-guards, so we probably only need 1 guy here.
Mullin: 19.8 points, 9.1 assists, 2.1 turnovers, 2.5 steals.
Harden: 16.8 points, 3.7 assists, 4.1 rebounds.
Drexler: 25 points, 6.7 assists, 6.6 rebounds.
In this category we’ll take Clyde Drexler and Chris Mullin. Their numbers are off the charts and they have the ability to both play within the team framework and hit the big shot. Harden is out.
This leaves us with four slots to go. Looking at forwards we have Scottie Pippen, Kevin Durant, Charles Barkley, Kevin Love, Karl Malone, and Carmelo Anthony.
Durant, Pippen, and Barkley are no brainers here, so realistically we’re deciding between Malone, Love, and Anthony for the final spot.
Anthony: 22.6 points, 3.6 assists, 6.3 rebounds.
Malone: 28 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3 assists.
Love: 26 points, 13.3 rebounds, 2 assists.
Anthony is definitely not making the team, so it comes down to Malone and Love. This one is a toss up. Their numbers are virtually identical. I’d go with Malone only because I think his ability to play pick-and-role basketball is outstanding and this type of ball translates well to international ball. Plus, Stockton’s already on the team and we know they play incredible together.
Our final team is:
Clearly, the 1992 team is better, and realistically only a couple of the 2012 players even make the team if we compare them head-to head.
Photo Credit: AP