Thursday , Aug , 02 , 2012 Paul Eide

Forget “Dream Team”- Is 2012 US Squad Better Than Version II or Even III?

Thanks to comments by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, we’ve heard a lot of comparisions between the 2012 USA Olympic basketball team and the 1992 "Dream Team" that featured 11 hall of fame players. But how does the 2012 version stack up against versions II and III? 

HoopsVibe Very Quick Call: The two following incarnations of the "Dream Team" were also stacked, but everyone seems to forget about them.

 

The 1994 version of NBA stars playing for the US was dubbed Dream Team II. Probably due in part to the fact that it was the World Championships and not an Olympics, almost everyone has forgotten about this squad, even though they ripped thru the competition winning by an average margin of 37.7 points and went 8-0 en route to the gold medal. Almost every game was a complete dunk fest with non-stop fast breaks. Watch some of US v Russia video below and you can see how far behind the rest of the world was at that point in time.

The tournament was also the first exposure of Shaquille O’Neal to the rest of the world.  After completing his second NBA season, Shaq was team USA’s leading scorer (18.0 ppg) and rebounder (8.5 rpg) and was completely unstoppable as his .713% field goal percentage would indicate. Check out the stats and roster below.

NAME G
FGM-FGA
PCT
3PM-3PA
PCT
FTM-FTA
PCT
REB/AVG
PTS/AVG
AT
BK
ST
Shaquille O’Neal 8
62- 87
.713
0- 4
.000
20- 38
.526
68/ 8.5
144/ 18.0
4
15
9
Reggie Miller 8
44- 73
.603
30- 57
.526
19- 20
.950
13/ 1.6
137/ 17.1
18
0
9
Dominique Wilkins 8
38- 67
.567
8- 21
.381
17- 22
.773
26/ 3.3
101/ 12.6
8
1
6
Joe Dumars 7
33- 57
.579
16- 31
.516
6- 6
1.000
10/ 1.4
88/ 12.6
20
0
6
Alonzo Mourning 8
37- 54
.685
1- 3
.333
12- 17
.706
41/ 5.1
87/ 10.9
5
9
7
Mark Price 8
25- 62
.403
19- 45
.422
8- 10
.800
20/ 2.5
77/ 9.6
29
1
12
Shawn Kemp 8
31- 45
.689
0- 1
.000
13- 26
.500
54/ 6.8
75/ 9.4
12
9
8
Dan Majerle 8
23- 51
.451
15- 33
.455
9- 13
.692
18/ 2.3
70/ 8.8
13
1
6
Derrick Coleman 8
26- 38
.684
6- 10
.600
11- 13
.846
31/ 3.9
69/ 8.6
6
4
11
Larry Johnson 8
20- 40
.500
2- 2
1.000
7- 11
.636
41/ 5.1
49/ 6.1
7
2
2
Kevin Johnson 8
16- 34
.471
0- 2
.000
8- 9
.889
14/ 1.8
40/ 5.0
31
1
8
Steve Smith 8
7- 20
.350
6- 13
.462
4- 8
.500
10/ 1.3
24/ 3.0
14
1
4

For the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Dream Team III was created and featured five members of the original Dream Team (Robinson, Pippen, Barkley, Malone, Stockton), plus Shaq and Hakeem Olajuwon. The remaining five players? Penny Hardaway, Mitch Richmond, Grant Hill, Gary Payton and Reggie Miller. Not a bad little squad! Dream Team III won their eight games by an average margin of 31.8 points per game and easily won an Olympic gold medal.

Check out 1:05 of the video below as the ball doesn’t even touch the floor before Pippen finishes with an alley oop slam. That pretty much sums this team up.

  G/S
FGM-A
Pct
3PM-A
Pct
FTM-A
Pct
Reb/Avg
Pts/Avg
Ast
Bk
St
David Robinson 8/3
34- 50
.680
0- 0
.000
28- 40
.700
37/ 4.6
96/ 12.0
0
3
5
Reggie Miller 8/5
33- 64
.516
17- 41
.415
8- 9
.889
8/ 1.0
91/ 11.4
17
0
8
Scottie Pippen 8/7
37- 71
.521
8- 23
.348
6- 11
.545
31/ 3.9
88/ 11.0
26
4
13
Charles Barkley 7/4
31- 38
.816
2- 4
.500
23- 32
.719
46/ 6.6
87/ 12.4
17
1
6
Mitch Richmond 8/3
25- 54
.463
11- 26
.423
16- 19
.842
13/ 1.6
77/ 9.6
10
0
10
Shaquille O’Neal 8/3
31- 50
.620
0- 0
.000
12- 23
.522
42/ 5.3
74/ 9.3
7
8
5
Penny Hardaway 8/1
25- 44
.568
4- 13
.308
18- 25
.720
22/ 2.8
72/ 9.0
35
1
11
Karl Malone 8/4
29- 51
.569
0- 0
.000
9- 17
.529
36/ 4.5
67/ 8.4
11
1
8
Grant Hill 6/1
22- 36
.611
2- 6
.333
12- 16
.750
17/ 2.8
58/ 9.7
21
1
18
Gary Payton 8/6
14- 37
.378
3- 7
.429
10- 19
.526
25/ 3.1
41/ 5.1
36
0
6
Hakeem Olajuwon 7/2
13- 29
.448
0- 0
.000
9- 13
.692
22/ 3.1
35/ 5.0
8
3
6
John Stockton 8/1
10- 19
.526
1- 2
.500
9- 11
.818
6/ 0.8
30/ 3.8
22
0
13

 

The 2012 USA basketball team has played well and dominated opponents in the first two games, with game three set for tonight against Nigeria. Obviously, the game of basketball has evolved in other countries to a level it wasn’t even close to being at in 1994 or 1996. The 2012 team is undoubtedly playing against better competition.

But if you had money on it, who wins in a three team playoff between ’94, ’96 or 2012? I’ve got to go with 1996.

For more info, updates, and gossip follow @HoopsVibe.

Image Credit: WENN Images

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,