Barkley, known almost as much for his great quotes, bad golf and big appetite as for his basketball, says the 1992 Dream Team, which included him, Michael Jordan, Larry Byrd, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing and Magic Johnson, among others, would beat this team by double digits.
In fact, he says, there are only three players on the current team who would have even made the ‘92 team.
From an interview Barkley did with Philadelphia radio station 97.5 the Fanatic, posted by Deadspin.com:
Kobe Bryant said this 2012 Olympic team would beat the 1992 Dream Team. What do you think about that?
“I’ve got to tell you, I just started laughing, because how old is Kobe Bryant? … And he’s calling us old? At the time, we were only 28 or 29. That just made me laugh. … Michael Jordan and me are the same age because he’s two days older than me, so we were both 29. Other than Kobe, LeBron and Kevin Durant, I don’t think anybody else on that team makes our team.”
Not Chris Paul, Deron Williams or Russell Westbrook?
“We wasn’t going to get beat by no point guard. No disrespect, but we weren’t going to be beat by a point guard, and they had no answer for David Robinson and Patrick Ewing, to be honest with you.”
So you’d say your squad by double digits, right?
“Oh yeah. And that’s no disrespect. I ain’t got to bad mouth them, but like I said, you take away their point guards. Their point guards weren’t going to beat us. That’s a no-brainer.”
What were the scrimmages like with that Dream Team?
“Well, you had the matchups. Magic Johnson was playing against Scottie and Magic wanted to prove [something]. They had swept the Lakers in the playoffs if you remember correctly. Clyde Drexler was jealous of Michael, so they tried to kill each other. Me and Karl Malone were really trying to prove who was the best power forward in the world. You had David Robinson and Patrick Ewing trying to prove who was the best center. Those were classic matchups. … It was just those matchups where everyone was trying to prove something to the other guy.”
Barkley did concede that LeBron James, at 6-8 and 250, would have presented matchup problems for the smaller Jordan.
“LeBron, you noticed a difference in his game this year where he was posting up more. That would be the difference. Michael, he’s too little for LeBron.”