Does It Really Matter If The 2012 Olympic Basketball Team Could Beat The 1992 Dream Team?
There’s a huge debate going on amongst basketball fans right now—and it has a lot of people out there arguing their points very passionately. No, they’re not arguing about whether or not LeBron James is the best player in the NBA right now. They’re also not arguing about whether or not the Miami Heat will repeat as NBA champions next season. They’re not even arguing about whether or not Steve Nash will help deliver a title to the Los Angeles Lakers next summer. The argument they’re having is a much more complicated one: Could the 2012 Olympic basketball team beat the 1992 Dream Team in a game?
The argument is, of course, ridiculous. These two teams could never actually play one another. Most of the guys from the ’92 team are in their 50s today. So, all the points that people are making are based solely on opinions and theories. It started a few days ago when Kobe Bryant sat down for an interview and said that he thought the 2012 team could beat the 1992 team because of their youth. It continued when Charles Barkley jumped onto the radio the next day and said that he didn’t think there was any way the 2012 team could compete with the 1992 team because of their size. And, it raged on yesterday when, seemingly out of nowhere, Michael Jordan chimed in and said that he “absolutely laughed” when he heard Kobe’s comments. To him, there is “no comparison” between the 2012 team and the 1992 team that he played for.
My question: Who really cares? At the end of the day, aren’t all of the players from both teams on the same side? Back in 1992, Team USA went to Barcelona for the 1992 Summer Olympics with one goal in mind: to leave with gold medals. That goal hasn’t changed. This year, James, Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and the rest of Team USA will go to London for the 2012 Summer Olympics and try to—you guessed it!—leave with gold medals.
So, does it really matter if the 2012 team could beat the 1992 team or the 1992 team could be the 2012 team? No. I understand the fun in debating it. But, the truth is that even if those two teams could play, what would be the point? The Olympics are supposed to be about competing for your country and doing everything you can to win a gold medal. So, can’t the 2012 team just focus a little more on that and a little less on how they would have done if they’d been playing 20 years ago? Go get the gold, guys. Then, we can talk about how you stack up against some of the all-time best Olympic teams. OK?