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.)
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
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
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.
Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the MTAF Podcast too. It’s on iTunes!