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Charles Barkley responds to Kobe Bryant: Dream Team would beat 2012 team by double digits

After hearing that Kobe Bryant said the 2012 Olympic basketball team would beat the Dream Team, all Charles Barkley could do was laugh.

Barkley, a member of the legendary 1992 gold medal-winning squad, was a guest on The Mike Missanelli Show on 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia on Wednesday and fired back at Kobe for his much-discussed remarks.

“I just started laughing,” Barkley said. “How old is Kobe Bryant, 36? He’s 34? And he’s calling us old? At the time, we were only like 28, 29. … Michael Jordan and me were the same age. We were both 29.”

Asked by Missanelli if they would beat the 2012 squad by double digits, Barkley agreed:

“Oh yeah, that’s no disrespect,” Barkley said. “I ain’t got to badmouth them. … Their point guards weren’t going to beat us. That’s a no-brainer.”

Supporting his belief that his team is the superior squad, Barkley said only three 2012 Team USA players would make the Dream Team.

“Other than Kobe, LeBron (James) and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team.”

Barkley also added that the London-bound squad would have problems matching up with the Dream Team’s centers, a point even Bryant conceded when he made his remarks on Monday.

“They would have no answers for David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, to be honest with you,” Barkley said.

Bryant’s comments understandably sparked plenty of debate among fans and the media. You’d think we’d let the 2012 team play at least one game of Olympic competition first, but no. Anyway, thanks to Barkley, we can now also speculate over whose spots on the Dream Team Kobe, LeBron and Durant would take. Well, other than Christian Laettner’s.

Note: This post also appeared on Fox Sports/Yardbarker’s Medal Detector blog

Kobe Bryant: current Team USA would beat the 1992 Dream Team (Video)

Could the current U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team beat the 1992 Dream Team? It’s the inevitable question every Olympics. Team chairman Jerry Colangelo already gave a thought to it when he said there was a “fair comparison” between both squads. But that doesn’t answer the question: Can this current group of guys heading to London score more points than arguably the greatest team ever assembled in a hypothetical game of basketball? Naturally, Kobe Bryant thinks it can.

“It’d be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out,” the Team USA guard told reporters during practice on Monday.

Kobe conceded that the Michael Jordan-led Dream Team, which was comprised of NBA legends and Christian Laettner, would have the size advantage. But where the 2012 squad lacks in size, it makes up with athleticism. And lots of it. Even though the current team is missing some of its best players due to injury, it’s still expected to dominate the Olympic competition because of its unmatched versatility and athleticism. And isn’t the argument when comparing teams from different eras that teams from today have an advantage because they’re vastly more athletic? Kobe also pointed out that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were at the end of their careers in 1992.

I’m not saying Kobe is absolutely right. I’m just saying I’d give the edge to the 2012 team. But I’d never count out a team with Michael Jordan in his prime. Especially after Jordan would feel disrespected seeing Blake Griffin doing windmill dunks or something in warm-ups.

Note: This post also appeared on Yardbarker’s Medal Detector blog
Photo: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Clyde Drexler: Everyone on Dream Team pitied Magic Johnson because he had HIV

Magic Johnson was considered a beloved figure and leader of the Dream Team, but according to Clyde Drexler, everything wasn’t all hugs and kisses.

Jack McCallum has written a new book called “Dream Team,” and in the book, Drexler shares his opinion about Magic’s role on the team. In fact, Drexler says Magic only made the 1992 Olympic team because he was pitied.

Here is an excerpt from the book as shared by Deadspin:

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Charles Barkley was one of the last players added to the Dream Team

NBA fans have been getting excited about an upcoming special on the Dream Team that won the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. The documentary, called “The Dream Team,” airs Wednesday night on NBA TV and features the story of what many consider to beat the greatest team ever.

GQ posted an “oral history” of the Dream Team to help get people prepared for the documentary, and it’s loaded with great info. It talks about how competitive the players on the team were, what it was like for them traveling, and it had a few great anecdotes about Charles Barkley that are definitely worth sharing.

For instance, did you know that Chuck was one of the last players selected for the team because of his attitude/personality?

[Read more...]