Off-Base Percentage: Ending the 1992 vs. 2012 Dream Team Debate

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Off-Base Percentage is a weekly post about the lighter side of sports, mainly baseball. Whether it occurs on the field, in the locker room, or in the media, if it is a little ‘off-base’ then it is fair game. If you are looking for analysis of a player, team, or sport it won’t be found in this post. This is for the sports fan that wants to take a step back and look at sports from a ‘different’ angle. Enjoy.

The Olympics have not even started and all that I have been hearing on ESPN and every sports site is the debate about which team is better, 1992’s Dream Team or 2012’s squad. In my opinion the teams are not comparable for many reasons. First of all, this year’s team has not even started playing yet so how can we even compare the two? But for giggles, I am here to settle this the only way I know how–with numbers. Statistics do not lie. I am simply going to go down the rosters of each team and add up specific statistics like points, rebounds, and assists per game in each player’s professional career. ( I am omitting both Christian Laettner and Anthony Davis because both had not played in the NBA when the Olympics rolled around.)

1992

David Robinson – 21.1 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.5 APG

Patrick Ewing – 21.0 PPG, 9.8 RPG, 1.9 APG

Larry Bird – 24.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG, 6.3 APG

Scottie Pippen – 16.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 5.2 APG

Michael Jordan – 30.1 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.3 APG

Clyde Drexler – 20.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.6 APG

Karl Malone – 25.0 PPG, 10.1 RPG, 3.6 APG

John Stockton – 13.1 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 10.5 APG

Chris Mullin – 18.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.5 APG

Charles Barkley – 22.1 PPG, 11.7 RPG, 3.9 APG

Magic Johnson – 19.5 PPG, 7.2 RPG, 11.2 APG

Team Total – 230.9 PPG, 103.8 RPG, 59.5 APG

2012

Kobe Bryant – 27.9 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 4.6 APG

James Harden – 16.8 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.7 APG

Chris Paul – 19.8 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 9.1 APG

Russell Westbrook – 23.6 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.5 APG

Deron Williams – 21.0 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 8.7 APG

Carmelo Anthony – 22.6 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 3.6 APG

Kevin Durant – 28.0 PPG, 8.0 RPG, 3.5 APG

Andre Iguodala – 12.4 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 5.5 APG

LeBron James – 27.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG, 6.2 APG

Kevin Love – 26.0 PPG, 13.3 RPG, 1.9 APG

Tyson Chandler – 11.3 PPG, 9.9 RPG, .8 APG

Team Total – 236.5 PPG, 72.5 RPG, 52.5 APG

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So let’s just say that for the sake of the argument all eleven players hit their averages in one game. The 2012’s would outscore the 1992’s. But the 92’s would out-rebound and out-assist the 12’s. The name of the game is to score more than the other team, but if the 92’s get more assists and rebounds then they may make a game of it. Of course, there are more intangibles like clutch performances, team chemistry, and sheer will to win. All of that stat searching and addition and I am back at the same point–the teams cannot be compared. It’s not like we can have them play each other in their primes. My only solution is to ask Coach K. He was the assistant coach in 1992 and is the head coach this year. I have never heard his opinion, but I am sure he has been quoted. Someone please point me in the right direction to find it.

Which team is better? Do you care? Will this team win the gold? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.

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