Could an All Star team today beat the Dream Team?

When a team, much like the Philadelphia Eagles last year, has an incredible roster and all the right pieces, we like to coin them as a “Dream Team”. That all started though, with the one and only Dream Team: The 1992 US Mens Basketball Team. People talk about the Dream Team all of the time and how dominant they were. 11 of the 12 players on the team were inducted into the Hall of Fame, excluding Christian Laettner. The Dream Team has come back into the attention of the nation though thanks to the NBATV documentary about the team that aired on Wednesday.

While that team was dominant though, the players today are different. With the athletic freaks in today’s game, it begs the question of whether or not anybody could beat the Dream Team. First reaction would be to say no right away, but I’m not convinced that easily. For anybody that may not remember, here’s the Dream Team roster from 1992:

G-Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler
F-Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Chris Mullin, Christian Laettner.
C-David Robinson, Patrick Ewing

For the sake of this matchup, an opponent needs to be put together. While using an All Star or All Pro team would work, I decided to put together my own team. While Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard wouldn’t be able to go in a game this summer, for the sake of this argument let’s pretend everybody is healthy. Here’s the 2012 team:

G-Derrick Rose, Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook
F-Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Kevin Love, Dirk Nowitzki, Carmelo Anthony
C-Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum

Now that the teams are set up, we can get on to the hypothetical matchup. Of course coaching the Dream Team would be their coach, Chuck Daly, while Dream Team assistant coach and current Olympic Head Coach Mike Krzyzewski would be coaching the 2012 team.

The Dream Team blew out opponents by an average of 48 points during their unbelievable run, but this 2012 team is no Croatia. They also lost a game to a team of college players at the time due to a lack of focus, but I’m pretty sure they’d be dialed in for this one.

While David Robinson and Patrick Ewing were great players in their time, I think they would have trouble dealing with the more athletic Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum down low. I think that Howard could be dominant down low, and the 2012 team has the advantage there.

The Power Forward matchup pits Charles Barkley and Karl Malone against Dirk Nowitzki and Kevin Love. The Dream Team duo would be able to keep up with the 2012 team down on the boards and the Barkley-Love matchup would be great. The Dream Team would have to come out all the way to the three point line though, because both of the 2012 forwards shoot well from the three point line. In the end though, I give the edge to Barkley and Malone.

Larry Bird is a great player. One of the best ever, actually. Would he be able to handle LeBron James though. Probably not. The Dream Team had Bird and Pippen but I don’t think either one of them could hang with LeBron and Durant. LeBron is way to big and physical for either one of them to take, especially when you consider that ’92 was Bird’s last year in the league. The 2012 team defintley has the edge here.

When we get to the shooting guard position though, is where the best player in the game takes over. That player of course is Michael Jordan, and I think he’d be incredible in the big moment and competition that is this “dream game”. Of course Jordan and Clyde Drexler would be matched up with Wade and Kobe and I think that the edge is with the Dream Team, as it almost always is when Jordan is in the game. Although one of the great matchups that we would get from this game would be here, with Jordan matching up with Kobe in an attempt to see who’s going to score more and taunt the other.

The final positional matchup would be at the point guard position, where Magic Johnson and John Stockton would be matched up with Derrick Rose and Chris Paul. Much like Bird, in ’92 Magic Johnson was at the end, already announcing his retirement due to HIV. While Magic may have been able to handle them in his prime, I don’t think he could stick with the explosive Rose or Paul. Edge goes to the ’12 team.

Obviously both of these teams are great, and the 2012 team would give the Dream Team a challenge that they never had to face. I still think that due to Jordan and some of their other experienced players, that the Dream Team wins. In a 7 game series though, I’m not quite sure. Either way, I think it would be a lot closer than people think.


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