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He said what?

Mourning's comparison to '92 Dream Team falls flat

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Latest: Monday September 25, 2000 03:22 AM

  Alonzo Mourning Alonzo Mourning thinks the 2000 Dream Team is the best yet, but the stats don't show it. AP

By Desmond M. Wallace,

Perhaps it is nothing more than sheer bravado. Perhaps after a couple of weeks in Australia, he has simply sucked down a few too many eucalyptus-laced Fosters brew-skis. But surely, he cannot actually believe what he has said.

When workhorse Alonzo Mourning let it slip that he believes the 2000 edition of the Dream Team could defeat the original 1992 squad, which featured Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, many in the basketball world must have thought that the otherwise well-regarded center must truly have been, well, dreaming.

"I'm going to be a little biased, but I think we are the best team ever assembled," Mourning said before the start of the Games. "We want to take it to a totally different level."

The star-studded 1992 Dream Team, whose high-scorer was Angolan-loving Charles Barkley, averaged 43.8 points per game, in winning the gold going away. Its 1996 successor in Atlanta emerged unbeaten in Olympic play as well, posting an average winning margin of 32.3 PPG.

Dream On
A look at the career feats of the 1992 and 2000 Dream Teams heading into their respective Olympiads.
  1992  2000 
NBA Titles:   12 
Playoff Games:   859  321 
All-Star Games:   68  25 
NCAA Titles:  
Keep Dreamin'
Career feats of the first Dream Team, including after 1992.
NBA Titles:   21 
Playoff Games:   1,646 
All-Star Games:   111 
MVPs:   12 
NCAA Titles:  

However as invincible as the 2000 team thinks it is, these Dream Teamers actually trailed in the second half (50-49 with 17 minutes to go) of a prelim-round game against Lithuania, in recording the first single-digit Olympic victory since the advent of Dream Team play eight years ago.

Before they had even boarded the plane for the Barcelona Olympics, the 12-member '92 Dream Team had already won a collective five NCAA championships, nine NBA MVPs, and a dozen NBA titles. Those would be exactly five more NCAA championships, nine more NBA MVPs and a dozen more NBA titles than the entire 2000 team has won to date.

In fact, this Dream Team cannot even come close to Magic Johnson's credentials in these categories by himself.

So does Mourning really want to go there?

Related information
Patrick Ewing: By the Numbers
Complete Olympics basketball coverage
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