Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 12:55 pm  |  81 responses

LeBron James Also Said 2012 Team USA Could Beat 92 Dream Team

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

Kobe Bryant was literally laughed out of the room for daring to suggest that the current U.S. National Men’s basketball team could defeat the fabled Dream Team — even beating them once was made to seem like a completely ludicrous idea.

Fans, media and fellow players seemed to agree for the most part that the 1992 squad couldn’t possibly lose to the current team (or any other, for that matter.)

LeBron James, much like his Olympic teammate Kobe, isn’t so sure about that.

From the AP:

Days before the current U.S. squad takes the court in London, James made his boast in a recent television interview. “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.”

“As a competitor you never want to say that you will lose no matter who you are going against,” James told ABC News “Nightline” anchor Cynthia McFadden. James also showed his respect to the iconic 1992 team, which was led by Michael Jordan and included 11 future Hall of Famers. That team won its six Olympic games by an average of more than 43 points en route to capturing the gold medal.

Everyone may disagree with Kobe Bryant and LeBron James on this, but that doesn’t matter. They believe they could beat the Dream Team, and that’s fine. It changes nor settles nothing, though it sure does seem to enrage certain nostalgic fans.

We’ll obviously never get to the bottom of this debate — unless scientists hurry up and build that damn time machine already!

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  • Aizen

    SMH, first Kobe, now LeBron? Team USA has almost no size, the Dream Team would destroy them in the paint, maybe everywhere else on the court, too.

    I understand the “pride” of being a competitor makes you say things like this, but humility is also important so a competitor doesn’t sound like a jackass.

  • Drig

    One thing I’ve learnt over the years : Nostalgia never makes anything worse. ESPECIALLY in sports and TV shows….. :|

  • http://www.slamonline.com nbk Troll


  • LA Huey

    Has anyone ever said “Yeah, we’d probably lose to them?” Jordan probably believes the ’96 Bulls could beat 2012 USA Team. And “could beat” is different from “better than”.

  • http://nba.com GP23

    Not this again…

  • d

    Does anyone think they could beat the 1996 dream team?

    Penny, Shaq, Hakeem, Barkley, Malone, Grant Hill, Pippen, Stockton, Robinson, Miller, Richmond, Payton?

    I’d say they’d struggle with that.

  • http://www.soundcloud.com/tray-5 T-Ray

    Once just once would I love to see someone answer “Nah no way we could beat them” just so the same people b*tching about stuff like this could come here and complain that they aren’t competitive enough.

  • fruizm

    Thats the mindset you need to have. In my mind, I can beat anybody up…although obviously I cant, but in my mind..I can, and thats all I need!

  • Marc

    exactly what competitor would say they would beat us and we have no chance. a loser would say that. And people would jump on that. I think in a series they probably would win at least one game. And I aint even mad at bron or anybody on the 2012 team saying they would beat the 92 dream team.

  • baller23

    Leborn & Kobe need to stfu!

  • blackthought

    anyone thinkin`bout beatin`the 92 team is a moron!

  • Scooter

    Why is this a discussion? They are just talking…Lebron MAY get his, Kobe and Durant def can score. Westbrook at point? Are u serious? Tyson vs Robinson? Are u serious? Magic, Barkley, malone, Bird and Jordan. In a best of 7, 92 would win 4 to 1 and if 1. Once malone delivers a forearm to Durant and James, they are NOT coming inside the paint. Remember Jame’s still hasnt fixed his fear of heights (Big Centers). Dallas had Tyson and OKC had a Forward acting like a 5. James and Kobe are Hall bound, Durant shld be a lock. 92 had about a dozen HOF. The deciding factor again will be defense and 2012 plays NONE.

  • Percy Jackson

    Why are so many of you butt hurt over this If you’ve ever done anything competively you’d understand where these guys are coming from . Success at anything takes confidence!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I like the spirit young man.

  • jayrose

    I like the confidence but its still a no champ.

  • http://www.fullc0urtpress.com KHoliday

    Glad to see these guys are focused on the 2012 Olympics!

  • Drig

    Bird was almost broken and so was Stockton. I just wish guys wouldn’t include Bird…..esp. when talking about ’92 vs ’12

  • Jerome

    Yeah … and Pau is a beast … right.

  • bike

    Think Larry Bird said it best when he was asked ‘Yeah,they could probably take us…but we ARE 20 years older now’.

  • http://slamonline.com Nella

    “Literally laughed out of the room” means Jordan would have had to laugh at Kobe face to face, prompting Kobe to exit said room in embarrassment. I’m guessing that did not happen. Not saying it’s impossible, but I’m 99% sure that wasn’t the case.

  • allen3

    yeahh only the 96 could beat the dream team just because penny and gill could give jordan and pip the business and the most important factor would be o’neal and olajuwon I don’t think they will ever be such combinaison of brute force and finesse if these 2 play the 5 and the 4 together
    at 4 its a draw becoz of barkley and malone being in the 2 team.
    2012 definitely lack size in the middle and beside I don’t see any defensive anchor like shaq or robinson in the middle.

    what about a 92 college team including mourning oneal webber penny hill they would have won the gold very easily too


    looool at KHoliday. they can’t focus in London. they know gold is coming there way. for team usa, blabbering about shoulda coulda woulda against the dream team is far more interesting then focus on the world.

  • http://none Charles Christian


  • Feez_22

    Why is it so far-fetch’d that 2 members of the 2012 team think they could beat the 1992 team in 1 game? Obviously, the 1992 team was eons better than the 2012 team. No questions about that. HOWEVER, the 1992 team was eons better talent wise compared to the select team at that time and they lost. just 1 game. i’ve seen underdogs win in a 1 game format before. Now if it were a 7 game series, obv the 92 team would win. Hell… i’d give the 92 team an 85% chance of beating this 2012 team in a 1 game format. but damn… even though 15% is low for this current team to win, its still a chance and stil means they “could” beat the 92 team in a 1 game format. its possible. heck… let me add more speculation… in 92, tea USA lost to the select team because the coach stopped playing MJ. if the setting is pre-olympics i think the 2012 team could beat the 1992 team. However, if its a gold medal game, 85% chance 92 dream team wins. anything can happen in a 1 gm format as i said b4… we’ve seen crazier things happen. seattle beating new orleans in the NFL playoffs a couple yrs ago, arizona getting to the superbowl in 08, lehigh a couple yrs ago in the tourney beating #1 kansas… in a 1 gm format, anything can happen. so ya… i’d agree with kobe and lebron due to this explanation i have provided.


    Anything LeBron Or Kobe says is ALWAYS true. BELIEVE

  • MtotheS

    The rest of the world has caught up in a competition aspect so it isn’t possible to judge this. If I’m 2k sports I simulate this game now!

  • James Aka…

    So if spain or argentina upsets them in the olympics this year, does that mean Manu>Magic?

  • Lloyd

    This title is misleading. Lebron basically said, “we may not be able to win, but as a self-respecting competitor my mentality is that we can beat any team we play.”

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    I’d love to see both teams play “small ball”. Durant, Melo, Bron, Kobe, Westbrook versus Magic, MJ, Pip, Drexler, and Mullin (Wade or Bird are not included because of their respective injuries). WHO TAKES IT?!

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    ^Why Westbrook? I would rather have D-Will or CP3 personally…
    It’s a tie. To answer your question lol.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Kobe nor LeBron will ever touch Mj as hard as they try.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    Kids these days.. *smmfh*

  • Da-Meat-Hook

    Lakeshow, I said Westbrook because I don’t think cp3 nor Dwill could guard any of the players I mentioned from the ’92 squad. I know what you mean, though LOL.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    A better statement might be- “2012 team could beat 92′s bench”.
    (Robinson,Malone,Mullin,Drexler,Stockton) But even that, i’m not too sure about..

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I don’t have Westbrook any higher on the defensive food chain than CP and D-Will. He is more athletic and stronger, but CP3 is just as good if not better at stealing the ball man on man and in the lanes. D-Will is virtually as strong. I feel CP and D-Will are the more consistent shooters.
    I feel you to though. Westbrook is beast. No wrong answer here lol. CP and D-Will are just so much better at playing the PG position. Not necessarily at playing basketball though.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    just read a redicules article in the german “five” magazine. they simulated that game via position matchups, gave 92 the edge at sg and c, 2012 at pg and sf and called pf even. then they gave the 12 team the edge due to their athleticism and defensive flaws of stockton, johnson, mullins, bird and barkley. i think i wont buy that crap anymore, its 92 all the way

  • http://www.slamononline.com Redd

    Derrick Rose would give 12 a big edge he’s better than Jordan.

  • Kadavour

    lol Redd

  • K Dub

    If the 2012 team had their FULL roster including Dwight D Wade D Rose and C. Bosh I would give them a VERY good chance to beat them!! Remember this USA team is missing alot of key players

  • Yann Blavec

    @ danpowers : fünf ist schlecht.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgvwfvTcNl0 danpowers

    they simulated this matchup with dwight and bosh on the roster. but still, thats no challenge. the 2012 had the overall athletic edge but basketball iq, killer instinct and teamplay are way way way more important. in all these aspects 92 had the edge

  • Ryan S.

    I don’t get why people laugh it off when the 2012 US team say they could beat the Dream Team. Yea the Dream team was a ridiculously stacked line up, but the international teams they played were trash. The 2012 team have more athletes, and besides the center position the 2012 team matches up well with the Dream team. Your telling me a squad with KB, KD,Lebron,CP3 and Carmelo would not have a chance in hell to win….SMH

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Lol, no but seriously this is ridiculous they need to let the this go and quit discussing this.

  • Real Talk

    I understand the concept of being the first to do something but matchup wise its two huge advantages 92 has the size 12 has more overall speed…another factor is that Team USA aren’t playing against groupies!!

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Who cares, we will never know and everyone act like MJ could never do anything wrong on the court, so MJ teams win every game he plays and he had 13 rings.

  • JB

    Seriously, these prima donna’s suck compared to the dream team. They could NEVER beat the dream team. NEVER!!! I am just hoping they win gold this year…there is no guarantee.

  • http://www.yahoo.com berkamore

    The ’12 team is having problems with the Gasol brothers and the likes of Luis Scola. Now, I ask, who is going to guard Barkley, Malone, Ewing and Robinson? Chandler is ok but…LOL, you get the picture.

  • flight

    Agreed the 96 team would handle the 92 squad. 5 players played for each team so cancel each other out, Prime Penny and Ghill would match up with Jordan and drexler,Dream and Shaq would muder Ewing and Lattener, Magic and Bird were old and Miller and Payton would ice the cake for DT3.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Redd

    Yea should compare 92-96…but 96 would win lol.

  • http://Roosterteeth.com Caboose

    Size. Period. 2012 wins 2 games out of 10, maybe.

  • huami

    Swap harden, westbrook, davis and iguodala for wade, howard, rose and duncan. I know duncan doesnt want to play on international games anymore but its a dream match. This current lineup would be hard pressed to win, but when the stars are complete, they will be competitive against the ’92 dream team. No way of knowing that though.

  • Benny Ng

    Look at the crowd around u before u speak

  • http://kb24.com x-DrEw_MaiN-x

    LeBron said it best half of you ppl with opinions and comments are dumb who goes into a game knowing your going to lose REAL ATHLETES AND COMPETITORS don’t care who they play they just coming to ball… that’s what A.I did and shook Jordan out of his shoes…

  • jt

    a guy on a team believes his team would beat another team, weird.

  • Drig

    I’d say ’12 wins 4 games outta 10. IF they had Dwight, Wade.

  • tomtom

    They could. It’s not a million miles away, they arn’t some obscure eastern European country, they are the best players on the planet right now. ALTHOUGH. I would actually say that the redeem team would have a better chance than this squad because they had a slightly better inside presence and a younger Kobe. Smart money would obv. be on the dream team.

  • 23

    being a lebron fan, i wonder if i am going to become irrational and closed minded in the future just as Jordan fans are today. in 20 years theres going to be a better player than lebron but i probably wont admit it. so i cant necessarily bash jordan fans for acting so dumb sometimes acting like he had zero flaws.

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    By Mike Bresnahan
    On second thought, maybe the original Dream Team was better.

    So says Kobe Bryant, who lighted a metaphorical fire around his feet earlier this month by saying this year’s U.S. team would beat the original cast of NBA stars from 1992.
    This time, though, Bryant indicated that Michael, Magic and Larry were more talented than LeBron, Kevin Durant and himself.

    “I didn’t say we were a better team,” Bryant said Friday amid a mob of reporters at an introductory Olympic news conference. “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.”

    Bryant agreed with President Obama, who countered Bryant’s comments earlier this month by saying the 1992 squad was superior.

    “He’s right. They are a better team,” Bryant said. “The question was ‘Can we beat them?’ Yes we can. Of course we can.

    “We like where we are but we’re not going to compare ourselves to them because those guys are living legends. We just hope that when our careers are all said and done, people can look back on our team and say we had quite a bit of Hall of Famers as well.”

    In his second Olympic tour, Bryant, 33, also discussed his NBA longevity and the near future of the Lakers. He has two years and $58.3 million on his contract, and indicated he might be done after it expired.

    “That’s what I’m thinking but I haven’t had any serious thoughts about it,” he said.

    Wouldn’t he keep playing until he won a sixth championship, tying Jordan?

    “I’m just going to, like, hold on for dear life?” Bryant retorted. “I’m not the type of guy to do that. I’ll give you the great effort, my best effort, but if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”

    Then he added with a smile, “But I’ll be damned if it doesn’t.”

    Bryant insisted that Pau Gasol should remain on the Lakers despite repeated attempts by the team to trade him.

    “He’s staying. If they want to get rid of them, they’ve got to go through me first,” Bryant said. “They can’t possibly. As long as I’m there, Pau should be there too.”

    Bryant’s appearance has changed since the Lakers were eliminated in May by Oklahoma City. He dropped 16 pounds leading up to the Olympics by changing his diet.

    “I used to eat junk food all the time and I started feeling bloated, sluggish. I had to stop it,” he said. “Every time I wanted to grab that In-N-Out burger, I was like, ‘Whoa.’”

    Bryant also sided somewhat with Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, who said earlier this year that players should get paid for playing in the Olympics.

    “There’s some truth to that,” Bryant said. “But we’re all here because we enjoy playing. Even though a lot of us probably share the same opinion, it’s not like we’re saying, ‘Well, we’re not going to play if you don’t pay us.’ We play. We do it because we want to.”

    The U.S. begins play Sunday against France.

    Tried to tell folks, Kobe never stated they were a better team, he stated they can beat them one game, which I agree. Who would have thought the Giants could beat a 17-0 Patriots or Butler could make the NCAA final 4 two years in a row, or Dallas Mavericks with the choking Dirk who won a ring and will be his only one. Things happen in sports all the time. Everyone picked the Spurs to beat Thunder, they won 4 straight games. Nobody picked Dallas last year to beat Heat. So sports is not just based on stats, its game to game. In a series since, 1992 team did not let Zeke play they win series 4-2. With Zeke on 1992 team, they beat this years team 4-1. BOOK IT!!

  • robb

    I like how Lebron is embracing being not just a competitor but a true winner, that’s how a champions speaks. I still think the Dream Team would win though, their inside game would be too much for these guys. Robinson and Ewing would be too much for Chandler and Barkley and Malone were no wimps, plus you have MJ and Pippen all of them in their prime.

  • robb

    And you’re crazy if you think a 34 year old Kobe would be able to guard a 29 year old MJ.

  • crooklyn

    Has anyone noticed that at any given time there could be five former or current nba players on the opposing team in 2012. The dream team maybe faced one or two such players, the rest may have wanted to be in the L or went to a camp, but weren’t worthy. That is the point that this 43pt avg of victory gets lost on. 2012 is weak at center in reality in comparison, but that’s about it. This ain’t a ring party we’re talking about it’s a game.

  • Mason

    Has anyone taken to account the evolution of the game in comparing generations? Both speed and power have changed considerably and once you factor in injured players who were penciled out (Howard, Wade & Griffin) the size issue is neutralized. Taking it a step further, I doubt that there was anyone person on the 92′ team that could guard LeBron one on one. Let’s stop being fans of an era and pay attention to the state of the game.

  • yayo

    Stupid, the young factor fall front smart an IQ for the game, easy the 92 team beat them….

  • Yesse

    We will never find out, and even if we would, the old Dream Team would beat this team.

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Mason, do you really think Dwight Howard is more athletic than David Robinson? Or anywhere near as good??

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    I hope not

  • joey

    you guys are impossible, first you crucify him for not being competitive, for taking the easy way out, for teaming with another superstar, not having the killer instinct and all those crap, and then when he was asked with a question that does he think they can beat them (NOT ARE YOU BETTER THAN THE 1992 DREAM TEAM) and said yes, we can beat them, all of a sudden you guys start talking about start winning more championships first before anything else etc.

    first of, if the dream team were so godlike, then why would a bunch of college players defeated them on their first game, so it means they can still be beaten…secondly if the team plays, the dream team will not have a 100 to 0 start, both of them will start at 0, so it means there is still a probability to win.


    thats very funny.

  • pruzz

    lebron james is a hell of a guy, and as long as he’s high,
    he has no anxieties, about his chemical dependencies

  • jei

    I think even the 96 us team of grant hill, penny and the rest can beat this 2012 team!..surpass this 96 team before thinking of the dream team..Lebron and kobe is just dreaming….90′s basketball is far more greater than today..there is no great center’s in today’s game..Do you think Lebron can do his stats in the 90′s? Hell No!..Grant hill and Penny can kick his butt off!.

  • Basketball_iQ

    Just seen cp3 give to durant when he was surrounded by 3 people & durant still put it on the floor & dunked it in traffic… You think westbrook would’ve given that up? Hell no!
    Lebron just gave the best bounce pass I’ve ever seen in olympic history to durant fire a raw finish…do you get the picture westbrook?
    Pg’s start the play, the other 4 finish.

  • hugo

    doesnt anyone think that the 08 team would have a much better shot at beating the 92 team? sure you remove KD, but u have a prime kobe and wade with D12 crashing the boards and bosh spreading the floor. much better chance of whipping those legends.

  • Brando

    Lebrons right,whos gonna guard kobe kd lebron and westbrook,why cant they beat em once

  • Hib


  • gi

    possible matchups:
    PG: Magic/Stockton vs DWill/CP3 advantage 2012
    SG: MJ/Glide vs RW/Iggy/Kobe advantage 92
    SF: Pip/Mullin/ vs LBJ/KD advantage 2012 though Pip can guard LBJ and KD
    PF: CB/MailMan vs Love/ADavis/Melo advantage 92
    C: Admiral/Ewing vs Chandler/Love advantage 92.

    Game of number folks Dream Team 92 will win!!!

  • gi

    96 team has a better chance against the 92 team. 96 dream team is the core of the usa select team that defeated the 92 dream team

  • Ali

    Todays game is different than 1992. But lets be honest everybody.
    Ewing and Robinson in thier prime would kill any of todays big men,
    to include Shaq in his prime! Chandler, Love, and a healthy Howard, Griffin would be abused all game. Barkley and Malone alone would give 2012′s team fits. 2012′s team wouldn’t get any rebounds, Hahaha….

  • L Dribble

    He says he feels they could win – of course he would have that mindset. He’s not saying they are the better team.

  • jei

    hey lebron!.96 team vs 2012 team is the match..i’ll take 96 with hill and penny..the 92 dream team cant be touch!..Everyone there is a team player..and this is not a competition of individual match up..k?…no team can beat the dream team..kobe and lebron is just halucinating..LOL!..BTW i’ll pick penny and grant hill over lebron and kobe..

  • http://slamonline.com Jackson

    Ok i’ll just say it. This current roster would absolutely beat the ’92 team. Hands down. The most popular argument’s I hear in favor of the ’92 team are that they have so much size in the paint. Great. Last time I checked there isn’t a chance in hell that David Robinson or Charles Barkley or Patrick Ewing or old Larry Bird and Magic Johnson could run the floor with the likes of LBJ Kobe Melo Durant or Westbrook. You can have height, I think that speed will be much more important in this game. The other argument is the blind faith you have in MJ. MJ WASN’T EVEN THE LEADING SCORER ON THAT TEAM, BARKLEY WAS. READ A FRIGGIN BOOK.

  • Omar

    92 would win because of size and physicality. OVerall, they’re just more physical than the 12 team but when 12 goes Westbrook, Kobe, KD, Melo and Lebron, they are going to get theirs because Magic/Stockton ain’t stopping Westbrook, Barkley/Bird/Mullin ain’t stopping KD, Melo or Lebron. Whomever isn’t guarded by MJ/Pip is going off. But there is not to keep Malone, Robinson or Ewing from scoring whenever they want.

  • http://slamonline.com Jackson

    If you honestly think that a starting lineup consisting of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul couldn’t ever beat the ’92 team, you are either living in the past or don’t watch basketball. To say that that lineup couldn’t beat ANy team EVER is a joke. This roster is unbelievable, deal with it.