Magic Johnson: ’08 Redeem Team No Match for ’92 Dream Team

by Marcel Mutoni@marcel_mutoni

It’s a generally accepted fact that the 1992 Olympic USA basketball team was the greatest collection of hoops talent ever assembled. And members of that historic team aren’t afraid to remind everyone of this.

Magic Johnson, the Dream Team’s unofficial spokesman, says the 2008 “Redeem Team” wouldn’t stand a chance against his ’92 squad.

From the LA Times:

“When you think about the Olympics and the Dream Team, I have to throw it to you,” Johnson said. “Kobe [Bryant] and them won by 22 points. Ehh, 22 points? We won by an average of 44 points. So when they want to step up to that, you tell them we’ll be waiting on them.”

Johnson is actually selling the Dream Team short — it beat opponents by an average of 45.8 points. That included a 155-77 victory over Puerto Rico in the quarterfinal, a 127-76 pounding of Lithuania in the semifinals and a 117-85 win over Croatia in the gold-medal game. Meanwhile, the Redeem Team beat opponents by 27.9 points per game.

The margin of victory for both teams isn’t a true indicator of which side was truly better; after all, by the time the 2008 Team USA got to the Olympics, international competition had gotten much, much better.

The game will obviously never take place, but it’s not particularly difficult to imagine Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson and company beating a Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony-led team.