Teammates on, and off the court? (Photo : REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)
Kobe Bryant might have plenty of talented teammates on the court, but it looks like he's finally got one off the court. The Laker superstar prompted a huge debate and backlash after claiming that the current 2012 U.S. men's Olympic basketball team could beat the 1992 'Dream Team' with members like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. Many have spoken out against him, but the first basketball superstar to support Kobe turns out to be none other than Lebron James.
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In an interview with "Nightline," James said that he agreed with Kobe's statement.
"As a competitor you never want to say that you will lose no matter who you are going against," James said to "Nightline" anchor Cynthia McFadden.
"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."
This is the first publicly voiced support for Kobe's comments. Other statements, mostly from the 1992 Dream Team members, and even one from the president, have been negative.
"I just started laughing," said Charles Barkley on a Philadelphia radio show.
"I absolutely laughed. I imagine he's trying to say it to legitimize his own Dream Team. But to me it's not even a question what team is better," Michael Jordan told the Associated Press.
Magic Johnson even tweeted:
"I laughed as well RT @DickieV Totally agree with MICHAEL!"
Another Dream Team member, Scottie Pippen, said that the 1992 team would probably win by as much as 25 points.
President Barack Obama was a little more conservative in his opinion, saying, "This is a generational thing. I was around in '92, I was a Bulls fan, so I've got to go with the original Dream Team."
The 1992 Dream Team contained 11 Hall of Famers, and won by an average of more than 40 points. Sports Illustrated called the team "arguably the most dominant squad ever assembled in any sport."
What do you think? Who would win, the 1992 Dream Team or the 2012 men's basketball team?