So now what? Will Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan laugh again? LeBron James has echoed Kobe Bryant’s position: That this year’s Team USA would defeat the Dream Team that featured 11 Hall of Famers. Because the members of the iconic 1992 squad are all retired, projections are just that.
Still, James made it clear, on the eve of the London Games, that he supported Bryant’s position of a few weeks ago that was mocked by most everyone, including President Obama.
During an interview on ABC’s Nightline, James did not shy away from expressing his thoughts. He showed respect, but was clear about his position.
“The ’92 Dream Team paved the way for all of us,” he said. “We understand what they did for our game, but we also are big-time competitors as well, so if we got the opportunity to play them in a game we feel like we would win too. . . As a competitor you never want to say that you will lose no matter who you are going against.”
Bryant made virtually the same proclamation and differing opinions emerged from virtually everywhere.
“It would be a tough one but I think we would pull it out,” Bryant said at a news conference. “People who think we can’t beat that team for one game, they are crazy. To sit there and say we can’t, it’s ludicrous. We can beat them one time.”
Jordan said he laughed when he read Bryant’s comments. “For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done,” Jordan added.
President Barack Obama also weighed in on the topic.
“This is a generational thing,” Obama said during a halftime interview with ESPN2 as it broadcast an exhibition game between the U.S. and Brazil earlier this month. “I was around in ’92, I was a Bulls fan, so I’ve got to go with the original Dream Team.”
Barkley pointed out that the Dream Team had 11 Hall of Famers. But they were not Hall of Famers in ’92. And who’s to say there are not 11 future Hall of Famers on the current team?