Lang Whitaker of Slam Magazine NBA-TV joined the Bob Haynie and Mark Zinno show this afternoon to give his take on this year’s U.S. Olympic Basketball team.
This year’s USA Olympic Basketball team is already making headlines, and they haven’t even packed for London yet. Every US Olympic Basketball team from here on out will constantly be measured up to the stature of 1992’s “Dream Team,” and 2012’s team is no different.
Kobe Bryant said this year’s team is better than the 1992 squad, which triggered 1992’s Charles Barkley to dispel that claim and state the opposite. Whitaker agrees with Barkley, saying 1992’s Olympic team was unprecedented and has remained unmatched ever since.
“It’s not just that they were maybe the greatest basketball team of all time, they were maybe the greatest team of all time in any sport. They destroyed everyone they played, it wasn’t even close.”
According to Whitaker, 92’s Dream Team had too much depth, experience, and too many great players to lose to this year’s team.
Whitaker considers Christian Laettner, who he says is maybe the greatest college player of all time, to be the “weak link” of 92’s team, but was fortunately surrounded by Patrick Ewing and David Robinson, who gave the U.S. a huge advantage inside.
Tyson Chandler, Whitaker’s weak link of 2012, is surrounded by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Chris Paul.
Many have speculated that there wouldn’t have been roster spots available for today’s All-Stars on 1992’s team, but Whitaker says he probably would have traded out Christian Laettner, Chris Mullin, and Clyde Drexler for LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Chris Paul.
“Don’t forget Drexler. At that time, he almost won the MVP that season. He had been to the finals, and that was probably the highlight of his career at that moment.”
Whitaker suspects Spain and Argentina to give the United States team the most trouble in the London games, who have the most experienced, big name players, like the Gasol brothers and Manu Ginobili, respectively.