The 2023 FIBA World Cup ended on a disappointing note for Team USA. They finished fourth in the tournament after losing to Canada. They were the favourites to win the gold medal but they suffered a shock defeat against Germany before eventually going down against Canada in the bronze medal play-off.
Following their defeat against Germany in the World Cup semifinals, USA coach Steve Kerr shared that it isn’t 1992 anymore and how the world has improved. Most people don’t agree with Kerr’s reasoning as they feel that the team didn’t win because they did not have any superstar representation.
This comes after most of the top NBA stars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant opted out of this year’s World Cup. Former Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert Arenas feels that if Team USA field their top 12 players, it would still be dominant.
In a recent Instagram post, Arenas called out everyone who has been comparing this team with the 1992 USA team and highlighted how that team was comprised of top NBA players. “Please stop with this dumb narrative, you coaches and the media,” Arenas said.
“‘This is not 1992 anymore like the rest of the world is catching up.’ Stop with that narrative. The only thing we don’t have over 92 is intelligence. We gotta realize, 92 put out a team to prove to the world, ‘We are dominant.’”
Arenas pointed out how each and every member of the 1992 team were an All-NBA level player. This is a stark contrast from the team that was deployed in the 2023 World Cup. Actually, none of the players in the team made it to the All-NBA last season.
“12 players on the USA team. The 92 Dream Team, hint, Dream Team, out of the 12, nine of those players were All-NBA players,” Arenas said.
Arenas deep-dived into the 1992 USA dream team as he pointed out how almost each of them were in the NBA’s first and second team. “First and Second Team, not even Third Team. First and Second-Team All-NBA. That means out of the 10 spots on the First and Second Team, nine of the players came out of that. Like, the only player who didn’t make the team was Tim Hardaway, which he should have, he averaged 23 and 10 that year.”
He feels politics has played a major role in modern-day basketball. Arenas want the NBA superstars to don the national team jersey and participate in such events. He feels that if the USA loses even after fielding their best players then it can be somewhat justified about the quality of the World.
“Think about what y’all are trying to do. You’re trying to create a perfect team. That’s what makes this dumb. The Dream Team put out the best players. The players would sacrifice and go win gold. You guys are trying to sacrifice yourselves. Like, ‘This ain’t 92 anymore.’ Prove it. Show it to me. Put out the best 12 players in the NBA!”
Arenas continued his rant about the 1992 Dream Team as he highlighted how the players were at the peak of their abilities. He shared that the team needed minor changes and even then they selected the best possible players. The changes include swapping out an aged Larry Bird and Magic Johnson with the rookie of the year Christian Laettner to field a more productive team.
“To make the team better, s**t, we take out Bird, put in Dominique Wilkins. Take out Magic, since he was hurt, and put in Tim Hardaway or Zeke (Isiah Thomas). Shaq (O’Neal) for Christian Laettner, who was rookie of the year that year,” Arenas said. “That’s the only way you make that team better. There was no removing the other nine, these were the best of the best.”