Opinion Corner: ‘92 team like no otherI’m not one to state the obvious in these columns; after all it’s the Opinion Corner, not the Observation Corner. That’s why I’m giving fair warning before; this one is an observation.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
I’m not one to state the obvious in these columns; after all it’s the Opinion Corner, not the Observation Corner. That’s why I’m giving fair warning before; this one is an observation.
Twenty years ago the greatest team ever assembled destroyed the competition in Barcelona and brought a gold medal back to the U.S. in basketball. Repeat: the greatest team ever.
The original Dream Team always will be the best team ever assembled in all of sports.
Recent bickering among Kobe Bryant and Charles Barkley made this argument a compelling one. But sorry Kobe, Chuck was right, for once.
The original Dream Team was not about winning the gold; it was about dominating along the way. The Dream Team won their eight games by a combined total of 350 points.
It was about restoring pride in an American sport after a disappointing 1988 games in Seoul, South Korea. The U.S. won a bronze as the Soviet Union took gold.
Professionals were finally allowed to play, and in true American style the rest of the world was hit with the USA’s best.
For music fans, this team was as magical as the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds,” in 1966. It was as smooth and profound as Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” in 1971. In fact once in Barcelona, Patrick Ewing compared the attention the team was receiving to that of the Beatles.
“We were like the Beatles. We were rock stars,” the hall of fame center said.
The talent, knowledge and grace that flooded the court will never be matched again.
This year’s roster is full of pure talent, but against Bird, Magic and MJ, in ’92 they wouldn’t hold a candle.
There’s no inside game for this year’s Olympics. Tyson Chandler or David Robinson? Easy pick. Kevin Love or Patrick Ewing? Again, a no-brainer. I almost forgot about the “Mail Man,” Karl Malone.
The year’s version of the Dream Team has great guard play, but Magic Johnson and John Stockton were two of the finest ball-handlers the game has ever seen. The record books don’t lie.
Every player on the 1992 Dream Team (except Christian Laettner) had the ability to take any game over. Can Andre Iguodala or James Harden do that?
Every player except Laettner also is a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Time will only tell for this young group playing in London.
The team was so stacked that even Barkley actually made a valid point regarding Kobe’s criticism.
“Other than Kobe, LeBron and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team,” he said.
Such a great team had to be cocky, especially when the Round Mound of Rebound is thrown into the mix.
It was documented that Barkley was out most nights, soaking up the attention with a crowd of people following him around from club to club.
The team could party at the night club and get up the next day and crush Brazil by 44 points. They were that good. Nothing could slow them down.
So when Olympic basketball starts on July 28, enjoying watching the U.S. breeze to another gold medal, but remember, nobody will ever do it like the Dream Team did in 1992.
Rodgers is a news writer at the Sun and frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner