Controversy arose a couple of weeks ago, when Los Angeles Lakers All-Star guard and Team USA member Kobe Bryant expressed his belief that he thought the 2012 squad could beat the much heralded “Dream Team” from 1992. Basketball plans around the planet, were put off by the boast and Bryant would soon find himself the subject of scorn and ridicule. It seemed that everybody commented on the statement, including President Obama and “Dream Team” star Michael Jordan, who told reporters “For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done.”
Thursday night fellow member of the 2012 Team USA LeBron James was a guest on ABC News show “Nightline” on the eve of the London games according to a report from “ESPN.com,” echoing Bryant’s thoughts. However James statements, may have helped clarify what Bryant was trying to express, as well as help justify why the Lakers guard made his initial statement.
James told the show’s host “As a competitor you never want to say that you will lose, no matter who you are going against. The ’92 Dream Team paved the way for all of us … We understand what they did for our game, but we also are big-time competitors as well, so if we got the opportunity to play them in a game we feel like we would win, too.”
Would you want a team that you root for to have any other mind-set, than what James expressed on nationwide TV? If a team enters a contest that they believe they have no chance of winning, then why play the game at all? If any fan of any team had heard that their club went into a game feeling they had no chance of winning, that fan should want the entire roster changed.
Now, the 2012 TEAM USA besting the “Dream Team,” is unlikely, but certainly not out of the realm of possibility. How many times have we seen underdogs defeat power-house teams in the NCAA Tournament? The last two-years we have seen a number eight seed beat a number one seed in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, so we are well aware that upsets can take place.
If the members of Team USA, do not believe they could win any game they play in, then the wrong players are representing our country in the 2012 Olympic Games. I have no problem with the confidence expressed by James and Bryant, as they should feel that way to bring home another Gold Medal from the London Games.