With the 2008 redeem team recently recapturing the gold in Beijing, many have begun to wonder who would win if the two stoic teams met.
To me the answer is simple, the 1992 team would win. Not only would they win, but they would win possibly by double digits. The 1992 team is probably 8 to 12 points better than the 2008 team for a variety of reasons. First, the 1992 team was bigger on the front line with Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, David Robinson and Patrick Ewing. The 2008 team features a great deal of athleticism and versatility on the perimeter, but outside of Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh, the 1992 team would simply dominate down low. Secondly, the 1992 team was a little more experienced in age (29 to 26) and NBA experience (8 to 6). Lastly, the 1992 team was simply more unselfish by playing more of a team game (30 APG to 18 APG).
To further back up my argument for the 1992 team, the stats speak for themselves:
1992 Team 2008 Team
Points Per Game 117 106
Opp PPG 74 78
Margin Of Victory 44 28
FG pct. 58 55
Opp FG pct 37 40
Source: AP (http://sports.espn.go.com/oly/summer08/basketball/men/recap?gameId=834)
While I understand that that the popularity of basketball has grown and consequently the rest of the world has become a lot more competitive since 1992, the original dream team would still find a way to dominate.
Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, and Lebron James without question would be among the best players in any generation. However, another telling difference between the two teams is that all 10 of the NBA players on the 1992 team were named to the NBA’s top 50 of all time. The 2008 team will probably only have five or six players who could be considered in the same breath of the NBA’s Top 50 when it is all said and done. This speak volumes to the talent and depth that the 1992 team possessed.
There is no question that this would be a matchup for the ages. The thought of seeing the big three for each squad in James, Bryant and Wade going head to head with Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, would give many chills. But in the end, the depth, size, experience and unselfishness would give the 1992 team many advantages to lead them to victory.
Would you be the one to bet against a Jordan lead team? I wouldn’t.
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