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Is there any question now which U.S. Olympic men's basketball team is better?
Some members of the 1992 "Dream Team," which had been in a grumbling match with current U.S. captain Kobe "Those Guys Were Too Old And By The Way I'm Considering Retirement" Bryant, took umbrage last week when Bryant said he thought the current U.S. men's team could take the Dream Team.
Michael Jordan was the first to shoot back, saying he "laughed" when he read Bryant's comments. Also chiming in was Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and (spoiler alert!) Charles Barkley.
Monday, Bryant's 2012 Olympic team, playing in Washington, D.C., fell behind early to Brazil, then had to rally to win 80-69.
Here's approximately 90 percent of what I know about Brazil: It's the large blob of a country in South America, its citizens play some mean soccer and Sergio Mendes is from there (and he plays a mean samba...check this out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9U1v01SGtGE). I didn't realize there was a basketball to be found anywhere in the country.
Beating Brazil by 11 points? That's hardly a resume sizzler in your application to be Greatest Basketball Team of All Time, especially considering the Dream Team won its games by a cool 43-point average margin.
Yes, international competition is better now than it was 20 years ago, there's no doubt about that. However, it should be noted that in 1988 the U.S. team failed to win gold, a humiliating defeat for the men's hoops program. It was that humiliation that actually got the wheels turning for the creation of the Dream Team in the first place.
The U.S. is favored to win the gold medal at London. I would be surprised if it didn't.
But Kobe and the rest of the squad have a long way to go to be mentioned in the same conversation as the 1992 team.