Former NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas Breaks Down Why Team USA 2021 Isn’t Comparable to the Legendary 1992 Dream Team

Published 08/02/2021, 8:30 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Basketball – Men – Group A – France v United States – Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan – July 25, 2021. Kevin Durant of the United States and Damian Lillard of the United States look dejected after the match with teammates REUTERS/Brian Snyder


The Tokyo Olympics has steadied well for the USA Men’s Basketball Team after an opening-game shocker. Kevin Durant and Co. have advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating the Czech Republic in the final group game. However, Team USA has more than this victory to prove themselves in these Olympic Games.

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Back in 1992, the world’s best group of basketball players formed what came to be known as the Dream Team. The likes of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, John Stockton, Patrick Ewing, and others were part of the sheer talented roster.

That year, Team USA set a mark in the history of Olympics basketball with jaw-dropping performances and complete dominance. Led by head coach Chuck Daly, the Dream Team bagged a gold medal in the Finals against Croatia.

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1992: Michael Jordan (L), Magic Johnson (M) and Clyde Drexler (R) of Team USA, the Dream Team, sit on the bench during the men’s basketball competition at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Icon Sportswire)

To date, every other USA basketball roster hoped to call themselves the successors of the Dream Team. Nonetheless, Michael Jordan and co. have remained unbeatable.

The Dream Team created a benchmark back in 1992

In this Tokyo Olympics, Team USA came up with another promising bunch of NBA players. Kevin Durant is leading the roster consisting of Damian Lillard, Draymond Green, Jayson Tatum, and other bigwigs. Unfortunately, they stepped onto the Olympic stage with an 83-76 loss against France. It was the first defeat for the USA in Olympics basketball history after the embarrassing run in the 2004 games.

In a recent conversation, former NBA player Gilbert Arenas compared the Dream Team to this year’s USA roster. “I’m so stuck on the 1992 Dream Team… So, when we compare our lineups to them and we got players on our team, they’re not even the second-best player on the team, not even third-best, they’re not even top 100 in the NBA…”

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The 3-time All-Star further added – “Sometimes, I don’t think we take it as serious as everybody else and I think that’s the issue. The Dream Team, that was their purpose, we’re going to go out there and let everyone know who we are. We don’t do that anymore.”

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Kevin Durant’s Team USA are catching up on winning the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Team USA is off to the elimination round after one blow from France followed by victories over Iran and the Czech Republic. Kevin Durant is leading his team by example. The Brooklyn star is now the all-time leading scorer in USA Olympics history with 354 total points.

Hurdles are on the way for Team USA as Luka Doncic led Slovenia is sending waves across Tokyo Olympics. Do you agree with Gilbert Arenas’ statement? Let us know in the comments.

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Pavni Ahuja

496 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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