Jordan On Kobe's Olympic-Sized Boast: LOL
By Marcus Gilmer in News on Jul 12, 2012 5:45PM
Maybe it's an enthusiastic boost from this weekend's official unveiling of the full roster for the United States men's basketball squad. Maybe it's a dose of cockiness now that he has an even better teammate to pass him the ball. Or maybe it's just a little chest-thumping that's been taken too seriously. Whatever the case, Kobe Bryant's squawking that the 2012 Team USA could beat the 1992 Dream Team has raised a few eyebrows, including some key players from the greatest basketball team ever assembled and, yes, that means His Royal Airness.
Kobe caused the faux-firestorm earlier this week when he told reporters:
"Well, just from a basketball standpoint, they obviously have a lot more size than we do — you know, with [David] Robinson and [Patrick] Ewing and [Karl] Malone and those guys. But they were also — some of those wing players — were also a lot older, at kind of the end of their careers. We have just a bunch of young racehorses, guys that are eager to compete. So I don't know. It'd be a tough one, but I think we'd pull it out."
Of course, this is a squad that, while absolutely solid and the gold medal-favorite, is missing important pieces like Dwight Howard, Dwyane Wade, and Chicago's own recovering Derrick Rose (please, let us never speak of this dark time ever again). But, hey, comparing teams throughout history is what sports talk radio is all about, right?
Well, when word made it back to Michael Jordan, his reaction was a simple one: "I absolutely laughed." Jordan elaborated on Kobe's boast, saying, "For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done." The ever-competitive Jordan continued: "For him to make that comparison, it's one of those things where it creates conversation. I guess we'll never know. I'd like to think that we had 11 Hall of Famers on that team and whenever they get 11 Hall of Famers you call and ask me who had the better Dream Team." Mic drop.
(One side note: while Jordan likes to think the Dream Team had 11 Hall of Famers on it, the fact is that all 12 members of the team are technically Hall of Famers, and that's not counting the coaching staff. With Chris Mullin's induction last year, Christian Laettner is the only original Dream Teamer not enshrined for his professional career but Laettner was inducted for his college career. And yes, this doesn't count the Dream Team itself being inducted in 2010.)
And Charles Barkley was his usual outspoken self on the matter. Other than pointing out Kobe's age fallacy - "How old is Kobe Bryant? 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." - Barkley also said the Dream Team winning such a match-up would be "a no-brainer."
So, here we are, with the tipoff of the 2012 squad's run just hours away and we have a talking point as the team is sure to steamroll through its early, pre-Olympic competition. Convenient! Not that it matters because the Dream Team was the greatest and that's even been proven by science so many times, there's no need to link it here. So this should give Kobe plenty of time to instead focus on this year's Olympics and helping prevent another disaster like in 2004. Meanwhile, Barkley can continue being Barkley (because he's actually kind of the greatest now that he has nothing to lose) and Jordan can get back to focusing on an LOL of his own, the Charlotte Bobcats.