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