Team USA easily defeated the Dominican Republic by a final score of 113-59 in their first exhibition game. The United States is the heavy favorites to win the gold at this year’s Olympics. However, there has been other buzz surrounding team USA. Specifically, Kobe Bryant said that this 2012 team would be able to beat the 1992 Dream Team. Many members from the Dream Team had something to say about this. Charles Barkley said there would be no way that this 2012 team could beat the 1992 team. Furthermore, Michael Jordan laughed at Bryant’s statements. Now you can add Scottie Pippen to the list of Dream Teamers who has had something to say about the 1992/2012 debate.
During ESPN’s telecast of USA versus Dominican Republic Pippen was interviewed during the fourth quarter. During the interview commentators Mark Jones and Fran Fraschilla were talking to Pippen about the 1992 Dream Team and of course Bryant’s comments came up. Pippen declared that the Dream Team would have the edge because they were a better-rounded team that had good big men, small forwards, and guards. Bryant stated that the 2012 features younger stars and that is one of the reasons he feels that they could beat the 1992 team. However, Pippen countered saying that even though the Dream Team had aging superstars they were still the best Olympic basketball team ever assembled.
Pippen not only said that the Dream Team could beat the 2012 team but he said that they would win by “about 25 points.” We will never know if the Dream Team would beat the 2012 team, and vice versa. However, it is fun for current and former players to debate which team is better. The bottom line is that the 2012 needs to win the gold medal before any comparisons can be made between them and the 1992 Dream Team.
This 2012 team definitely has the talent to win the gold medal during the 2012 Olympics. If this first exhibition game is any indicator than it looks like USA will be well on their to the gold medal game. Let’s remember that this was just an exhibition game and everyone will be raising their levels of play come time for the Olympics. I think if USA can stay together and just keep dominating there will be no team that can beat them. Pippen’s 1992 Dream Team may have been the greatest Olympic basketball of all time but this 2012 USA team isn’t that bad either.