I’m getting a little tired of this.
Any Dream Team in basketball that doesn’t include Oscar Robertson and Jerry West isn’t much of a Dream Team, because there’s still room for Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Oh, and Michael Jordan.
I couldn’t tell you if the current Olympics Dream Team is any better than the 1992 Dream Team, but I know the 1960 team that won Rome deserves to be in the discussion.
That was an all-collegiate, AAU team, by the way, playing in short trunks with long ability. Too bad it played before ESPN became part of our culture in 1978. Apparently, if something didn’t happen on film, it didn’t happen.
I’m not going to tell you athletes aren’t better today. They are, but they also train year ‘round. Transport James back 52 years and keep him out of the gym until right before the season starts and see how good he becomes.
Of the 12 players on the 1960 team, three were Robertson, West and Jerry Lucas, all Hall of Famers, as is Walt Bellamy, also on that team. Ten of the 12 went on to play in the NBA, most of them as All-Stars.
They had little competition in the Olympics, but, again, remember they were mostly college kids and the game had not developed as it has now.
But I think you could plug Robertson, West and Lucas into any Dream Team and not feel you’ve slighted a position on the roster. I’d suggest Robertson especially has never received the acclaim he deserves.
He won’t, and that’s OK. But it’s not right, either.