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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

There Can Be Only One.......

Posted by Eboy

Don't let the cheesy smiles fool you.....

Written by Eboy

Since the 2008 Olympics are upon us and the United States men’s basketball team, dubbed The Redeem Team, just finished it’s preliminary games, I thought I would do something to pass some time. Comparing this current squad with the hallowed, never to be challenged, legendary Dream Team of 1992. Not fair, I know, but I heard something similar on a Sirius satellite radio sports show and while not necessarily compelling, I thought it would be worth a look. Let’s begin:

The Rosters

Dream Team

Charles Barkley
Larry Bird
Clyde Drexler
Patrick Ewing
Magic Johnson
Michael Jordan
Christian Laettner
Karl Malone
Chris Mullin
Scottie Pippen
David Robinson
John Stockton

Redeem Team

Carmelo Anthony
Chris Bosh
Kobe Bryant
Carlos Boozer
Dwight Howard
LeBron James
Jason Kidd
Chris Paul
Tayshaun Prince
Michael Redd
Dwyane Wade
Deron Williams

Not much of a contest, right?

The one thing that I think the Redeem Team has a slight edge (by slight, I mean pubic hair tiny) in is the amount of “in their prime” perimeter players. Melo, Wade, Bron and Kobe are probably stronger as a whole than the Jordan, Pippen, Drexler, Mullin at the respective time frames the two teams were constructed in. Excluding Michael & Scottie (who easily trumps all the Redeem Team pieces), Drexler and Mullin were late in their careers and the legendary status of the two of them are unquestioned but I think they’d have their hands full with the quaddrupo unit the Redeem Team has to offer, at that particular moment. If the Dream Teamers were a couple years previous and Mully wasn't ailing, it wouldn’t be a contest though.

Let’s look at the big men, shall we? This is where the biggest discrepancy comes into place. Barkley, Bird, Ewing, Robinson, Malone vs. Howard, Bosh, Boozer and Prince (?). Forget it. The Dream Team’s big’s were killers, all five. Not including the original victory cigar, Laettner, who was coming of an equally deadly college career. The Redeem Teams bigs are what was best available at the moment, not historical figures that are looked at in Hall Of Fame perspective. And to think, a young Shaquille O’Neal was passed over for Laettner late in the game. That would have made the ridiculous even more than it seemed possible. The Dream Teams D was anchored by Ewing and Robinson, two of the greatest defensive centers ever. The Redeem Team has a gaping hole in that area as currently constructed.

Finally, the point position is pretty even in my mind. J Kidd, CP3 and Deron Williams may not have the resumes of Magic Johnson and John Stockton, but they wouldn’t be run off the floor by no means. Magic would have been a terror to the smallish Redeem team guards but the quickness and strength of the combined efforts of CP3 and D-Will would be plenty rough for Stock. Kidd would be the least productive of the three in my estimation for Team Redeem.

Coaching isn’t even a category for me. The Dream Team really didn’t need a coach just a barometer. Chuck Daly did that extremely well. Coach K seems to have a good grasp on his talent, although he hasn’t seemed to be able to utilize it to it’s fullest extent so far.

Let’s just put this into perspective though. The Dream Team had 10 Hall Of Fame players on their 12 man roster. The Redeem Team has 3 definite’s and maybe a couple of more after several seasons of work. Tough D, an unbelievable amount of unselfishness, incredible basketball minds and a ridiculous level of competitiveness made the Dream Team the greatest single team ever assembled, in any sport. I’m not trying to hear about some futbol team either. Sheer domination and a historically place in the game are just too much too overlook. Could Kobe slow Michael? Please. Scottie would have shut down Kobe, Michael would have taken pride in showing up Bron. Or vice versa. Scottie and Michael were “those” guys. Trust. Carmelo’s time as a PF would be parcel posted to him by a hard charging Mailman. D-Wade’s drives off determination would have been sorely rebuffed by a certain Admiral. Sir Charles would have made an example out of the larger Boozer and Patrick would have made Da-Howitzer’s days of interior dominance seem bleak by comparison. Michael Redd, meet Chris Mullin. And let’s not forget the “magic” that a certain good ole’ boy from French Lick and the ultimate showman coming from LA could have put together for portions of a game. Just too much talent, too much history, too much...........too much.

One game for all the marbles?

I have the score somewhere in the 118-82 area. Not close, not funny and not threatening. For the Dream Team, I mean. How could it be? It's THE DREAM TEAM!!!!


AR said...

Team USA are very much the Lakers of International basketball,which is why I'll be hoping they don't win,that and DWades stupid comments.All that aside,I don't think they'll run away with it,they have some stiff comp,which some people need to realize,the US don't play the best basketball in the world-they have the best players.There's probably a difference.Anyoooo...


Eboy said...

You're still alive? I thought you weren't taken away like Darby O'Gill.

Eboy said...

*were. BTW, you saw I made no prediction of The Redeem Team's chances for the gold. I think if all goes well, they'll win it with a loss or two in the qualifying rounds. If they struggle covering off the ball cuts and stay stagnant shooting threes in a game or two in the medal rounds, they are vulnerable. Don't forget, Lebron made the same comments D-Wade did a week before. I'm almost positive Coach K hasn't put togehter all the pairings and put all the wrinkles of the squad on full display just yet. Playing Australia would be similar to you and I playing a one on one game. You'd be confident, I'd be bored. You'd give me the best shot you had and I would look at you with disdain like Tyson in his prime and turn it on just enough to tease you into thinking you'd have a chance then snatch the win from you like a drunken Irishman getting the last ale in the pub........ooooops!!!

AR said...

I see your Irish jokes are still as old as you are,Scatman Crothers.I was away doing some actual work,which was refreshing/backbreaking.I also see that the good ole American "Fuck the World" spirit is alive and well,you Burger eating-invasion monkey.I jest obviously.

Eboy said...

Scatman Crothers huh? I loved him as the voice of Jazz in the old Transformers cartoon. He was also a few shades darker than me but it's all good. Are you back in the mix now or are you still going to be doing real world stuff? BTW, if the assholes of the world can use FTH, can I steal your's and make FTW the new closing of the stars?

AR said...

I almost called you Pinetop Perkins,but didn't.I guess I'm back full time,contract cancelled and so on.Life as a labourer on a construction site is surprisingly fun.I'm working on something semi-lengthy as we speak.I'm working on about five other writing related things,so I'm pretending to be busy.Steal away,let assholes be assholes.

Eboy said...

I've been called the devil and an asshole today. I'm big tymin'! I look forward to your next piece, btw, since our little blog has been as limp as Keith Richards after a heroin overdose.

Ryne Nelson said...

Eboy, you're right. There's no way to even compare the 92 bigs to the 08 bigs. What went wrong?!

Eboy said...

Ryne, there's just not that big of a choice in the pivot to choose from in the states on the professional level or in the college game. Besides, Shaq is to old, Yao is to Chinese and Greg O is just not ready.

AR said...

"Too Chinese"

I do love you,you know that?

Hursty said...

USA is overrated. That is all.

Eboy said...

AR, it actually wasn't meant to be an insult to Yao. Just meant as a great center that plays US ball for a living his roots are far away in the Orient so the US would have no chance of putting him on a Olympic roster.

TADOne said...

Well, since you downplayed it, I must remind you the Chuck Daly is a far superior coach to that Duke Devil.

Also, these comments are almost better than the piece.

As for the bigs: Hakeem and The Admiral would absolutely dominate today's comp in the league. My how times have changed.

Eboy said...

I agree, TAD. I thought that was an obvious point so I didn't expand on it.

TADOne said...

Well, you know I have a man-crush on Daly being a Pistons fan and all....

Eboy said...

Well that's a given but he was the right coach at the right time for the right team.

TADOne said...

He also wore his Armani suits perfectly.

B. Long said...

KG or Tim Duncan should have been on this team and they would go undefeated barring any major injuries. I still think were going to bring home the gold.