Kobe Bryant made waves when he said that the U.S. basketball team could beat the 1992 Dream Team, who won its six Olympic games by an average of more than 43 points.
Members of that historic team, including Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley, laughed off Bryant's claim, dismissing it as absurd.
Then Bryant and company beat Nigeria on Thursday by 83 points, 156-73.
Now the former Dream Team members are changing their tone.
"I want to congratulate the guys on their continued dominance in London," Johnson told ESPN. "This is starting to look a lot like our 1992 Dream Team. I look forward to watching them continue to drive for that gold medal and bring it home for the USA."
Barkley, of course, had a little more bite in his praise.
"That's probably how many points they'd beat the '92 team by ... if we played today," he quipped.
By some measures, this year's team is en route to surpassing the 1992 squad.
The current U.S. basketball team has averaged 121.3 points in its first three wins; the 1992 team averaged 110 points a game in its three opening victories.
"We respect those guys and we understand what those guys did," said Carmelo Anthony, who scored a U.S. Olympic record of 37 points against Nigeria. "We understand the standards that those guys set. But we're playing for ourselves right now, for our country, for this moment.
"We're not out there on the basketball court making plays and making shots and playing defense and saying, 'This is [like] the '92 Dream Team.' Those guys did what they did in 1992 and now we have the chance to do something special."
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