Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dream vs Redeem

I've been watching a lot of the Olympics this year, for the first time since 1996, and I'm loving it (apparently that over the top McDonalds proud partner of the Olympics has worked on me). I've been listening to lot's of sports radio coverage of the Olympics. Not necessarily by choice because I listen to sports radio and that's what is talked about, but I can't say im upset. One thing I'm absolutely sick of.....

The Redeem Team

Not the team itself, they have been nothing but well behaved while representing us in Beijing. Most likely they've been responsible for a good portion of th 100,000 condoms donated to Olympic Village. They show up at events which is more than can be said about teams in the past. They were sideline awestruck watching Michael Phelps, and not only during his 7th and 8th Gold Medal wins but other events. They are all about the greater team, that of the USA. I applaud their efforts on and off the court. I am not sick of the team itself, but the stupid Redeem Team marketing ploy. I was sick of Dream Teams II-IV as well as the Dirty Dozen. There was only one Dream Team because it was in fact THE Dream Team. I would rather turn the TV on and watch grainy game film of a Dream Team practice than any game featuring any of the players on the Redeem Team. With the exception of Christian Laettner, who I can only assume stuffed himself in Assistant Coach Krizooski's Gym Bag to make his way over there, this was the Dream Team. 10 of the 12 players who represented the US in Barcelona made up 20% of the Top 50 of All-Time. Two of their coaches (not Coach Krizooski) are among the Top Ten of All-Time.

When you've got John Stockton, who started 1,255 of 1,258 games he appeared in from 1987 until he retired in 2003, on your bench starting precisely 0 games you know you've got a good team. The Redeem Team is an All-Star Team, the Dream Team was an All-Time Team. I realize they aren't out there to replace the dream team but let's be honest. Maybe, maybe Kobe could have started for the Dream Team, but that's still having to choose between Bird or MJ and Kobe to start and I don't think Kobe is better than Bird, and I Know he isn't better than Jordan.

If you wanted to break it down on a position by position basis let's look:
1: Jason Kidd vs. Magic Johnson
2: Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan
3: LeBron James vs. Larry Bird
4: Carmelo Anthony vs. Charles Barkley
5: Dwight Howard vs. Patrick Ewing

Things aren't as easy when we get down to the Second team since (other than Jordan) the other 4 starting positions went back and forth, there wasn't a designated starting Line-up, but we can look at the guys who started less games.
1: Chris Paul vs. Clyde Drexler
2: Deron Williams vs. John Stockton
3: Dwyane Wade vs. Scottie Pippen
4: Michael Redd vs. Karl Malone
5: Chris Bosh vs. David Robinson
No Contest. I'm pretty sure the Dream Second Team could beat the Redeem First Team. When it comes down to the Top 100 Players of All-Time in 2047 at least 10 of the Dream Teamers will be on that list, and Chris Mullin might even have an outside shot at getting on to that team but how many of this years Redeem Teamers will be on the Top 100 at 100. By my count 5 guys have a pretty good chance, but aren't guaranteed, at being on that list.

Can't we just call them the Olympic Men's Basketball Team or Team USA?