If you watched the documentary shown on NBA TV about the 1992 Dream Team that won gold at the Olympics in Barcelona, one thing that stood out was how competitive the players were. The players didn’t want to stop when they were scrimmaging because they wanted to beat each other, and there were big rivalries among players on the team.
Charles Barkley wanted to prove he was a better power forward than Karl Malone, ditto for David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, and Michael Jordan wanted to show he was better than Magic Johnson. That competition created a heated environment, and it seemed to bring out the best in the players.
Dwyane Wade watched the documentary and talked about it with the media on Thursday.
The Heat guard, who has played in the NBA since 2003 and participated in two Olympics for the national team, conceded that the hatred between stars isn’t the same as it was.
“I’m not going to say it’s missing,” Wade said and then smiled. “It’s missing . . . It’s a different time. Now it’s not as much hatred. It’s still competitiveness, guys want to beat other guys, but it’s a different world, it’s a different time where guys have an opportunity to be around each other more and be closer.”
There aren’t many people who followed the NBA during both eras who would disagree. The Heat’s big three came together in Miami because of friendships the players forged. And outside of guys like Kobe, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, and Derrick Rose, how many star players strike you as super competitive to the point they’re not friendly with a lot of opponents? LeBron James and Kevin Durant, who are the biggest stars in the NBA Finals, worked out together over the summer. Chris Paul and Tony Parker stay at each other’s houses and do dinner before they square off.
It really isn’t the same, and at least Wade admits it.Google+