The USA Olympics basketball squad is doing its thing in Vegas, preparing for the upcoming Olympic Games in London.
Of course, every four years since 1992, every Olympic squad — either unfairly or not — is compared to the Dream Team which consisted of the greatest players to ever step on the court.
This time, a reporter asked Lakers legend Kobe Bryant if this current Olympic squad was better than the Dream Team.
His answer? Yes.
Is he wrong? Yes. You were four years too late, Kobe.
Kobe notes that quite a few of the more prominent players on the 1992 USA Olympics squad were nearing the end of their careers. Of course, Bryant was referring to Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, who played the majority of their careers in the 1980s and retired in the early 90s.
The rest of that squad? All were at their respective primes, with Michael Jordan and John Stockton finishing their eighth seasons, Patrick Ewing and Karl Malone at the end of their seventh, and Scottie Pippen finishing his fifth. In essence, the core guys of Team USA were entirely comprised of 90s legends rather than 80s retreads.
The biggest irony here is that Kobe Bryant, himself, is in the twilight of his career. The problem some Lakers fans have with him is that he doesn’t seem to want to accept this fact, and for him to say that the Dream Team was filled with players nearing the end of their careers is somewhat funny. In this equation, Kobe is the 1992 Dream Team’s version of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
Of course, seven of the 2012 roster’s 16 players were born in 1988 or later (and only Kobe was not born in the 1980s), meaning that the perception of this team will be seen much differently a decade later since many of these players may or may not become superstars that have cemented themselves in basketball history.
Kobe may have had a solid argument in 2008, while he was in his prime, when the USA team traveled to Beijing for the Olympics. This squad, given their inexperience and overwhelming youth, doesn’t have much of an argument.
We enjoy and embrace the confidence though, Kobe.
USA! USA! USA!