Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Science! Says The 2008 Squad Was Actually The Best Olympic Basketball Team Of All Time

Paul Bessire, creator of the Predictalator, ran every men's hoops team from 1992 through 2012 through his machine, simulating each roster playing 50,000 games against every other edition. And to everyone's surprise, neither the '92 Dream Team nor the current squad in London came out on top. Winning more often than any other Olympic team, it's the 2008 Redeem Team, followed by 1992, and then this year's team. (The Vince-and-KG-led 2000 team came in last, despite having won gold in Sydney.) Somewhere, Michael Redd sheds a tear and smiles.

There are a few reasons for the 2008 team's hypothetical success, the main ones being Kobe Bryant and Dwyane Wade in their primes, and a healthy Dwight Howard. (You can read the full analysis here.) So it sounds logical, especially considering the Dream Team was kind of old, and played opponents that wouldn't come close to qualifying for the Olympics these days. But I don't buy it. For one, the players are judged on their NBA stats, and NBA stats don't always translate into Olympic success. For another, back in 1992 you were actually allowed to play defense. If the Dream Team played a modern-era Team USA under today's rules, they'd all foul out by the third.


[Prediction Machine]

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