LeBron: We would beat Dream Team
Days before the current U.S. squad takes the court in London, James made his boast in a recent television interview.
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.” -- LeBron James.
"As a competitor you never want to say that you will lose, no matter who you are going against," James told ABC News "Nightline" anchor Cynthia McFadden.
James did express his respect to the iconic 1992 team, which was led by Michael Jordan and included 11 future Hall of Famers. That team won its six Olympic games by an average of more than 43 points en route to capturing the gold medal in Barcelona.
"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," James said.
James' comments echoed those of Bryant, who two weeks ago made a similar proclamation.
"It would be a tough one, but I think we would pull it out," Bryant said at a news conference. "People who think we can't beat that team for one game, they are crazy. To sit there and say we can't, it's ludicrous. We can beat them one time."
Bryant appeared to soften those comments a bit Friday, telling reporters, "I didn't say we were a better team. But if you think we can't beat that team one time? Like I'm going to say no, that we'd never beat them.
"They are a better team. The question was 'Can we beat them?' Yes we can. Of course we can."
Bryant's initial comments received immediate and sharp rebuttal from some members of the Dream Team. Jordan told The Associated Press he laughed when he heard of Bryant's comments.
"For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done," Jordan said.
Even President Barack Obama weighed in on the topic.
"This is a generational thing," Obama said during a halftime interview with ESPN2 as it broadcast an exhibition game between the U.S. and Brazil earlier this month. "I was around in '92, I was a Bulls fan, so I've got to go with the original Dream Team."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.