Michael Jordan sharply disagreed with Kobe Bryant’s claim that this year’s USA Olympic basketball team could beat the 1992 Dream Team.
“For him to compare those two teams is not one of the smarter things he ever could have done,” Jordan told the Associated Press before playing in a celebrity golf tournament in Charlotte, N.C., on Thursday.
The 1992 Dream Team took home the gold medal, winning its six Olympic games by an average of more than 43 points. The team included 11 future Hall of Famers, including Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Jordan.
Jordan found Bryant’s assertion so absurd that he said he “absolutely laughed” when he heard it.
Bryant recently said some of the Dream Team’s players were “a lot older, kind of at the end of their careers.”
“We have just a bunch of young race horses, you know, guys that are eager to compete. So I don’t know, it would be a tough one, but I think we’d pull it out,” Bryant said of this year’s USA Olympic basketball team, which includes LeBron James and Kevin Durant.
Jordan rebutted Bryant’s argument by saying that most of the members of the 1992 Dream team were “in the prime of our careers.”
“I heard Kobe say we were not athletic,” Jordan said. “But we were smart. He said we were too old, but I was 29 and in the prime of my career. Pip [Scottie Pippen] was 26 or 27, [Charles] Barkley was 29, Patrick [Ewing] was 29 and Chris Mullin was 29. Almost everybody was still in their 20s.”
Jordan intimated that this topic doesn’t even deserve a debate.
“Remember now, they learned from us,” Jordan said. “We didn’t learn from them.”