One of the biggest questions in Team USA basketball is who would win a hypothetical match between the 1992 Dream Team and the 2012 Team that won it all in London. Well, some people seem to overlook the team that went before the 2012 squad that beat Spain in the Summer Olympics of 2012.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski recently sat with JJ Reddick on his ‘The Old Man and the Three’ podcast to discuss several topics, including a hypothetical matchup between the 1992 Dream Team and the 2008 Redeem Team that took the world by storm following a couple of bad years in USA Basketball. That team featured the likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and others, all during young and hungry to be successful in the league.
Redick asked Krzyzewski who he believed would win a 7-game series between the 1992 and 2008 squad, as to what he replied:
“When they’re all healthy? The Dream Team,” Coach K said. “But they weren’t all healthy in 92. But in their prime, I mean, you’re talking about 11 Hall of Famers. That was the first time that the NBA came to the Olympics and that was a visionary moment from David Stern and it was an atomic bomb for the global world of basketball. Those guys were rockstars there, they were such gentlemen, they represented us so damn well and the NBA of the 80s built the NBA you have today and those guys, we didn’t have a culture for USA Basketball. They brought their culture to USA Basketball from that moment. [Talk about] a starting five you pick all time, there are a few names on that team. Maybe some of the younger people today, they don’t know how good Magic or Bird, these guys, even Jordan. Kobe was this generations’ Jordan. I didn’t realize how much of a hero he was to this generation. And in some respects, LeBron has been that now and I’m proud of him because he carries a mantle, he carries a lot of burden, especially at this time of social unrest. He’s really put it out there as has the league.”
Coach K saw first hand what both teams could do, how good their players were and all the things they could do on the court. The decision was pretty clear for them, the 1992 team led by Michael Jordan (who prevented several of his teammates to win a championship or reach the NBA Finals), Larry Bird and Magic Johnson would beat the 2008 team.