You just knew it would not be long before one of the real Dream Teamers snapped about Kobe Bryant’s position that the 2012 Team USA would beat the legendary 1992 gold medal-winning unit of Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Scottie Pippen, Clyde Drexler, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, et al.
In fact, when Charles Barkley, another Hall of Famer, responded, said he laughed. Then, it being Charles Barkley, he talked.”How old is Kobe Bryant, 36,” Barkley asked? “He’s 34? And he’s calling us old? At the time, we were only like 28, 29. … Michael Jordan and me were the same age. We were both 29.”Asked a Philadelphia radio host if they would beat the 2012 squad by double digits, Barkley said: “Oh yeah, that’s no disrespect. I ain’t got to bad mouth them. . . Their point guards weren’t going to beat us. That’s a no-brainer.”
No disrespect intended, of course, (wink, wink), Barkley said only three 2012 Team USA players would make the Dream Team.
“Other than Kobe, LeBron (James) and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team.”
Bryant originally said: “Well, just from a basketball standpoint, they obviously have a lot more size than we do — you know, with [David] Robinson and [Patrick] Ewing and [Karl] Malone and those guys. But they were also — some of those wing players — were also a lot older, at kind of the end of their careers. We have just a bunch of young racehorses, guys that are eager to compete.
“So I don’t know,” Bryant continued, the trace of a smile beginning to play its way across his face. “It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out.”
Barkley added that the matching up with the Dream Team’s centers, a point even Bryant conceded when he made his remarks on Monday. Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks is the only true center on this year’s squad.”They would have no answers for David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, to be honest with you,” Barkley said.