by Marcel Mutoni @marcel_mutoni

It’s apparently never too early to start the hype machine for the 2012 Summer Olympics. Just ask USA Basketball Chairman Jerry Colangelo.

Colangelo is excited about what the star-studded hoops team can accomplish next summer, and he claims that people will be forced to draw comparisons between this squad and the legendary Dream Team that destroyed everyone in their path during the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

Fox Sports reports:

“I think it will be a fair comparison with the Dream Team,” the USA Basketball chairman said. “Look at the progress our players have made since (winning Olympic gold in) 2008. We have some of the greatest players of all time.

“You’re hearing Kobe (Bryant) right up there with the greatest of all time. Dwayne Wade and LeBron (James) are right up there. You’ve got to add up the names, and you look at the young guys like (Kevin) Durant as an example and (Derrick) Rose as an example. There’s so many. There’s only been one Dream Team, and that’s the way I think it should be. But there’s no question our team will be much stronger than we had in 2008. They’re more mature, more experienced and we’ve got more talent.”

For any true comparison to take place between the two teams, we’ll have to wait for the games to be played. But for what it’s worth, Magic Johnson has already said that the 2008 USA Olympic basketball team couldn’t hold a candle to his ’92 squad.

Jerry Colangelo says that he and coach Mike Krzyzewski will be evaluating 18-20 NBA stars, with the 12-man roster getting finalized on June 20th.