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Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Advantage 2012 U.S. basketball team

By Marc Stein

BARCELONA, Spain -- For the past five days, Team USA has been subjected to endless comparisons to the Dream Team wherever they go in Catalunya.

As they relocate to London on Wednesday in advance of Friday night's Olympic opening ceremonies, let's sign off from Espaņa with one comparison that falls squarely in the 2012 team's favor.

ESPN Stats & Information just passed along that excluding the Dream Team, five players in the 1992 Olympics played in the NBA during the 1991-92 season.

Two decades later?

There are six current and former NBA All-Stars on the other 11 teams in the 2012 Olympic field. Spain has two of them -- brothers Marc and Pau Gasol -- while Argentina (Manu Ginobili), France (Tony Parker) and Russia (Andrei Kirilenko) have one each.

The Dream Team, in total, faced just 13 active, former and future NBA players in the 1992 Olympic tournament. Nine of the 12 players on the current Spain squad have had ties to the NBA, either as a current player, former NBAer or former NBA draft pick.