By Eduardo Maisonet, III / @edthesportsfan
For FOX Deportes
The narrative has been exhaustive for the last couple of days, ever since Kobe Bryant was goaded into a dialogue that challenged the thought that the “Dream Team” of 1992 could never be beaten. That the 2012 Team USA squad currently constructed could possibly beat the Dream Team sounded preposterous, but then the writers, bloggers and fans took the narrative into the sports bars, the water cooler and the barbershop and now the narrative has gotten totally out of control.
So of course, after I tried to refrain from jumping into the discussion, in fear that I’d lose my mind and become a prisoner of the moment, have revisionist history, and distort my memory of that ‘92 team and what this ‘12 squad could truly be capable of….I decided to hop in the time machine and go back to the future.
Excuse me as I put on my NikeMags real quick.
Just hear me out on the list of players and their ages that could possibly make up the 2016 Team USA Roster:
Players on 2012 who will probably play in 2016
LeBron James, 31. (He’d be the senior leader of the ‘16 squad.)
Carmelo Anthony, 32. (If LeBron plays, he plays.)
Kevin Durant, 27. (Just hitting his prime….scary.)
Kevin Love, 27 (Will definitely be the best PF in basketball, just hitting his prime)
Russell Westbrook, 27 (Scary…)
James Harden, 26 (Scary again…)
Anthony Davis, 23 (He’s just figuring this out, who knows what he’ll be at 23…)
Plus three guys who would’ve definitely been on this team if not for injuries
Derrick Rose, 27
Dwight Howard, 30 (These two will play in ‘16, adidas has to recoup their investment)
Blake Griffin, 27 (If those damn knees can just hold up…)
Now for a few players who will probably get an invite to tryout in 2016
Kyrie Irving, 24 (The man challenged Kobe Bryant in 1-on-1, he’s fearless)
Eric Gordon, 27 (Slighted in ‘12, could be the be the best two guard in the league by ‘16)
JaVale McGee, 28 (If he figures it out in four years, he’s a prototype big man)
John Wall, 25 (It’d be nice to see him play on a team worth a damn again)
Jabari Parker, 21 (If the hype is real, he’ll be in the league by ‘16…could get a shot)
I just gave you fifteen players that will absolutely be considered by the committee when selecting the 2016 Olympic hoops squad. Look at that list again. Almost everyone outside of Davis, Irving and Parker will be in their prime of their career. Its the knock that Kobe had on the Dream Team, many of the players were aging.
This is correct, by the way. Bird and Magic were older, but players 3-11 (No Laettner here) were all in their prime. Conversely, this 2012 squad realistically only has one player worth a damn in his real prime, that’s LeBron. In this 2016 scenario, almost everyone would be in their prime, and the oldest player would be a 31-year old LeBron James? Are you kidding me?
You know…that’s if he plays. If he doesn’t play, then this discussion is mute.
Let the real debate begin.