Obama backs 1992 USA team in Olympic debate
American President Barack Obama waded into the USA Olympic basketball debate this week, saying the 1992 Dream Team with Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley would have beaten the 2012 Olympic team.
Barack Obama said he remembers a 1992 gold-medal winning USA team that looked unstoppable from the very first game.
“I got to go with the original Dream Team,” said Obama during a half-time interview of the USA against Brazil exhibition game with American broadcaster ESPN.
“I suspect that Michael and Sir Charles would point out they were never down at any point in any of their games but this is a great team.”
Obama got a bird’s-eye view of the current USA national team on Monday, sitting courtside at the Verizon Centre arena with his family and Vice President Joe Biden.
Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant launched a debate recently when he said this year’s Olympic team could have beaten the 1992 version which is known as the Dream Team because it included 11 future Hall of Fame players.
Jordan then scoffed at Bryant’s boast, by saying “I absolutely laughed. For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done.”
Obama said the current team with Bryant and NBA finals MVP LeBron James would make its own mark on the 2012 Summer Games.
“This is a great team with unbelievable talent,” Obama said.
“Kobe is a competitor so you expect him to do a little trash talking whenever the opportunity arises.”
Obama predicted the current Dream Team, even with all the injury problems they have had, would win the gold medal in London.
“No reason we shouldn’t bring home the gold, we just have got to get focused,” he said.
The USA got off to a slow start against Brazil. They were down 27-17 at the end of the first quarter before pulling away in the second en route to an 80-69 win.
LeBron James led the American team with 30 points and six rebounds.