You can bet Kobe Bryant wishes he never answered the question. It just will not go away. Even President Obama disagrees with him, saying the 1992 Dream Team of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, et al, would defeat this year’s Team USA unit.
“This is a generational thing,” Obama said during a halftime interview with ESPN2 as it broadcast an exhibition game Monday night with Brazil at Washington’s Verizon Center. “I was around in ’92, I was a Bulls fan, so I’ve got to go with the original Dream Team.”
Bryant said recently that this team — deep and athletic with the likes of Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Durant — is talented enough and athletic enough to conquer the 1992 lineup. Jordan, Johnson and Charles Barkley, among others, have laughed at the notion that their team of 11 Hall of Famers would go down to Team USA’s young group.
“I suspect that Michael and ‘Sir Charles’ and others would point out they were probably never down at any point in any of their games,” Obama said. “But this is a great team, unbelievable talent.”
The president added: “You know, Kobe’s a competitor, so you expect him to do a little trash-talking whenever the opportunity arises.”
At the exhibition game that the Americans won behind 30 points by James, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden took their seats to chants of “U-S-A” at a U.S. men’s Olympic basketball exhibition game against Brazil as the loudspeakers blared Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” images that any president running for re-election would relish.
“Obviously the talent that we’ve got at this point is unbelievable,” Obama said during a halftime interview on ESPN2. “So there’s no reason that we shouldn’t bring home the gold. We just have to stay focused.”
When the President first arrived at the arena, he greeted members of the U.S. women’s basketball team on a practice court after their win over Brazil in the first game.
“We could not be prouder,” Obama said after hugging Tamika Catchings, Diana Taurasi and other members of the women’s team. The women’s team presented Obama with a red No. 1 USA jersey and a signed basketball.
During the men’s game in the fourth quarter, the “Kiss Cam” found the first couple and thePresident was ready: He put his arm around his wife and planted a big kiss on the first lady as the crowd roared.