Back in 2012, ahead of their London Olympic Games, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant had stated how their Team USA could defeat the Michael Jordan-led 1992 Dream Team.
Over the past several decades, the USA has been the most dominant basketball playing country. And if you’re a basketball fan, you know for a fact that the United States assembled arguably their greatest teams back in 1992 for the Barcelona Olympic Games and called it “The Dream Team“.
That team, co-led by Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, had some of the games biggest names – Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson and many more superstars. As you must’ve rightly predicted, this USA Men’s Basketball team was a tough force to reckon with and won a gold medal at the event, staying undefeated in all their 8 games. The average margin of victory for the Dream Team was a whopping 43.8 points and head coach Chuck Daly used 0 timeouts during their campaign.
No other team in history could be just as dominant as the Dream Team. However, back in 2012, LeBron James as well as Kobe Bryant, insisted that their London Olympics USA basketball team could have defeated the Dream Team.
“A matchup between the 2012 USA team and 1992 USA team would be tough, but I think we would pull it out”: Kobe Bryant in 2012
The USA team selected for the London Olympic Games was stacked with some of the games greatest. Led by LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, superstars like Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis among many others were a part of that camp. As expected, even the 2012 American team won the gold medal without losing a single game in the competition.
A few days before their London Games, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James firmly believed that the 2012 Team USA could beat the 1992 Dream Team. The Black Mamba had initially said:
“It would be a tough one, but I think we would pull it out. People who think we can’t beat that team for one game, they are crazy. To sit there and say we can’t, it’s ludicrous. We can beat them one time.”
A few days later, Kobe softened his initial comments and said:
“I didn’t say we were a better team. But if you think we can’t beat that team one time? Like I’m going to say no, that we’d never beat them. “They are a better team. The question was ‘Can we beat them?’ Yes, we can. Of course, we can.”
King James echoed what Bryant had to say.
“As a competitor, you never want to say that you will lose, no matter who you are going against.”
“The ’92 Dream Team paved the way for all of us … We understand what they did for our game, but we also are big-time competitors as well, so if we got the opportunity to play them in a game we feel like we would win, too.”
Obviously, members of the 1992 Dream Team had a rather surprising reaction. Charles Barkley had revealed to “started laughing” upon hearing Bryant’s comments. While Michael Jordan had this to say:
“For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done.”