Dreamers or Redeemers - a vote for the 2008 team
By: Rudy Sobelman - TLBR Milwaukee correspondent
A special thanks to TLBR for allowing me a platform to embarrass myself in trying to suggest that the 2008 "Supreme" team could actually enter the conversation of the 1992 "Greatest team ever assembled."
I am sure you will find my writing poor and my arguments weak, but that's my game.
Up until the 2004 Olympics, the United States had gone 110-1 in Olympic competition. (Okay technically, 109-2, but let's not count the 1972 Munich debacle.) And then Larry Brown and the 2004 team went 5-3 in Athens and brought home a bronze medal.
That was "shampooing" unacceptable and the U.S. decided to do something about it by hiring Jerry Colangelo to come up with a plan to win gold in China. Of course, they ignored the fact that Colangelo never won an NBA championship with the Phoenix Suns, but he needed something to do since he sold all his teams.
As a basketball junkie, I never thought I would see another team that would compare to the Dream Team, but this is the squad. Here is my breakdown of the roster:Guards - Jason Kidd, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Michael Redd.
This group of guards includes one of the greatest pure passers in NBA history (Kidd), the closest thing to MJ (Kobe), a healthy superstar who has a great all-around game (Wade), a point guard who should have been MVP last year and is putting up some of the best PG numbers ever (Paul), a solid young guard who is putting up 10+ assists a game (Williams), and a shooter in case you need him (Redd).Forwards: - LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Tayshaun Prince, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer
You want one name? How about the bigger Oscar Robertson (LeBron), a solid scorer suited for international play (Anthony), a glue guy who just wins (Prince), the forgotten player of the greatest NBA draft ever (Bosh...and apologies to 1984), and Coach K's more seasoned Laettner (Boozer).Centers: - Dwight Howard
This team is a little thin in the middle. Or are they? Did you watch the dunk contest last year or realize that Howard is still only 22? Scary. Very scary.
It is hard to publish stats on this team during Olympic play, as the numbers certainly won't line up against the 1992 dominance. This is a great collection of players, missing really only two players among the best in the world (Garnett and Duncan).
Without starting this little debate, point-counterpoint, I leave you with this. Excluding the USA roster, there are 30 NBA players playing in the 2008 Olympics. Spain has seven players in the NBA on their roster. The competition is much different than Dino Radja, Petrovic, Kukoc, Sabonis, and Marciulonis.
This team is dominating, beating the aforementioned team featuring seven NBA players by a final of 119-82, including a 32-0 margin on points off turnovers. I'll wait for the stat comparison when this thing is over. This is a team, not a collection of individual superstars and egos.
Bring it. I am ready for TLBR to crush me like a Barkley elbow on the helpless Angolan.
You want a thesis statement? In one game, the 2008 team would beat the 1992 team by running them off the floor.