Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant caused something of a stir on Wednesday when he suggested that his 2012 Team USA group could challenge and beat Michael Jordan’s 1992 Dream Team. The latter squad, of course, is recognized as the greatest collection of talent in basketball history, and generally gets the God-Amongst-Men treatment from folks who saw them do what they did.
Kobe apparently isn't one of those folks, though.
"Well, just from a basketball standpoint, they obviously have a lot more size than we do — you know, with [David] Robinson and [Patrick] Ewing and [Karl] Malone and those guys," Bryant said. "But they were also — some of those wing players — were also a lot older, at kind of the end of their careers. We have just a bunch of young racehorses, guys that are eager to compete.
"So I don't know. It'd be a tough one, but I think we'd pull it out."
On Thursday, after 24 hours of everyone debating the validity of Kobe’s claims, Jordan responded. And he responded in predictable, Jordan-esque fashion.
"I absolutely laughed,” he said.
"For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done. I heard Kobe say we were not athletic. But we were smart. He said we were too old, but I was 29 and in the prime of my career. Pip (Scottie Pippen) was 26 or 27, (Charles) Barkley was 29, Patrick (Ewing) was 29 and Chris Mullin was 29. Almost everybody was still in their twenties."
Jordan didn’t stop there.
"I imagine he's trying to say it to legitimize his own Dream Team," he continued. "But to me it's not even a question what team is better.
"For him to make that comparison, it's one of those things where it creates conversation," Jordan conluded. "I guess we'll never know. I'd like to think that we had 11 Hall of Famers on that team and whenever they get 11 Hall of Famers you call and ask me who had the better Dream Team. Remember now, they learned from us. We didn't learn from them."