Race is the Prevailing Issue

President Barack Obama is one of, if not the best president this country has seen in its history. People can make all the arguments for or against it, but that’s not the point. Nor is whether President Obama’s policies as effective as compared to what another proposes in theory. Given President Obama has solidified his greatest, there is still a large faction wishing for him to be out of office.

It was just four years ago the first African-American person was elected to the presidency. It symbolized a social change, so stark, many people still cannot grasp. Now, on the brink of the 2012 election, a significant portion of the population want to see things returned to an old status quo.

A well-known racial divide—an understatement—has existed in this country since its inception. Finding differences in each other is in human nature; a benign activity. It becomes problematic when an opinion that race, gender, ethnicity, or certain other genetic variations being responsible for one being better than another. It is absurd that a former Harvard Law student, dimwitted bright enough to memorialize her sweeping stereotypical comment that African-Americans are mentally inferior in an email, is somewhere affecting change at the federal level. The same flawed thought process is driving the discussion, masked with substantive issues, that the President is not fit for office and should be replaced.

With the election of the President in 2008, equality is closer to being a reality. The only people really concerned about the realization of equality are people who are not of color. Sadly, this concern has led to pushing ANY other nominee to replace President Barack Obama. That became obvious when Mitt Romney “humorously” instigated the Birther issue to rally his constituents and to gain others. This desire to oust the President is not only to replace him, but also replace all that he represents—politically and otherwise.

No one wants to admit that race is of the essence in this country. Just look to sports and the number of coaches and owners of a certain race juxtaposed to the players they preside over; then analyze universities’ office of admissions’ policies; and themes portrayed in adult movies (I don’t watch, I’ve only heard). Seeing the amount of racially motivated comments on Twitter, Facebook, and blogs about the President and his family is incredible. It can be argued that race is more so at issue in the 2012 election than 2008 because in 2008 the country was in desperation for help.

The President is not perfect, but the amount of scrutiny he receives is unprecedented. There is one reason for that, and it’s the unprecedented nature of Barack Obama’s presidency. The only reason more people are not on his bandwagon is a direct result of some having a great ability not to appreciate his accomplishments. This country is far from being over race, and it is being evidenced all around us, in 2012. When people cast their vote in November, the vast majority will be basing it on race–or ignoring it– while the informed few will be considering the substantive issues that actually affect them.

Just a Thought – Why Team USA 2012 would Beat The Dream Team

This is great video editing! Secondly, Jordan’s style of play was ahead of his time, but  Kobe is still a better shooter and ball-handler. So, where is the advantage in having Jordan on The Dream Team as so many propose? Maybe Jordan might have had more competitiveness; and Kobe only accomplished more than Jordan, at the same age, because Kobe had a few years of a head start. But, The Dream Team could not match-up with the likes of LeBron, Melo, Westbrook, Deron, etc.

Plus Kevin Durant has proved to be ahead of all of the aforementioned on the offensive end, while showing flashes of greatness on defense during the Olympics and 2012 NBA playoffs.

Furthermore, this only supports that The Dream Team’s only advantage was in the post. But, with that advantage it doesn’t refute the possibility that Team USA 2012 had a more effective style of play consisting of speed and sharp shooting.

Please see : http://anotherschoolofthought.com/2012/08/25/team-usa-2012-would-beat-the-dream-team/

Thank you, Hardknocks: Miami Dolphins

Hi, Hardknocks: Miami Dolphins (episode 4):

Thank you, for a few things. First, thank you for producing a wonderful show that gives insight into the locker room and behind-the-scenes action of NFL teams—for years. Second, thank you for exposing the ineptitude of the Miami Dolphins coaching staff and front office.

Hardknocks: Miami Dolphins, you are brilliantly showing that coaches do not know how to ever take responsibility for their players’ failure to execute. You are almost being biased in showing how tough the Dolphin’s coaching staff is on their players while being terrible at teaching them. But, the great thing is: is that’s pretty much how 99.23% of coaches are in the entire profession—no matter the sport—so, this enlightenment is much appreciated.

Also, thank you for clearly showing the General Manager (who may know all of the appointed functions of the job) is missing what it takes to put a good team on the field. His history of poor production is known, but his rumored poor personal skills are being depicted too. This is great work you are doing by showing how entitled GM Ireland acts, when it is well known that the Dolphins need to win immediately. Like, you can’t cut your number one Wide Receiver, then not replace him. Nor can you trade a top Defensive Back in a pass-happy NFL as you get draft picks in return. (Note: draft picks he may not be around to have input on. But, let’s see how the season turns out.) Additionally, thank you for showing how it, the curious trade of Vontae Davis we heard about earlier this week, went down. Ireland’s poor decision-making is evidenced in how he made the trade. At least the Colts are happy.

Additionally, it’s brilliant the way you showed the distinction between the treatment of black players getting cut and the white players in the same position. This may not be objective on your part, but I have no reason to believe it’s not objective. I’m not stunned that when black players get cut, or get traded in Vontae Davis’s case, GM Ireland desires the conversation to cease as quickly and callously as possible. I guess that’s to be expected when you have men, who do not know how to relate to certain other men they are interacting with—and maybe afraid of—confront each other in a forced-awkward situation.

Conversely, white players get hugs, handshakes and seemingly personalized, genuine encouragement while receiving the tearful news. Also worth noting is the cut, black players wished for a chance, while the white players seemed gracious. That is… “interesting.”

Lastly, thank you for showing the viewer how uninspiring it would be to play for Coach Philbin. There had to be someone better suited for the job. Philbin is too busy worrying about players’ appearance, language, the lighting of rooms, and trash. He may be better suited as an Interior Designer or Grounds Keeper than a Head Coach.  This behind-the-scenes work will be all the Miami Dolphins shareholders and ownership will need to see if a tough decision needs to be made. This is a powerful show. We love it.

Best regards,

Another School of Thought

Letter to Chevrolet–or other American Carmakers.

Hi, Chevrolet:

I am an American that loves automobiles. I also would love to see your success in the auto-industry. What I am going to suggest is not innovative, but I believe that consumers, domestic and abroad, may–more seriously–consider Chevrolet automobiles. Why you, Chevy? Because I believe you have the greatest potential of American brands.

The idea is to: start with each of your premier vehicles and work backwards. For example, you have the Corvette. Why not create a Corvette Sedan as opposed to an Impala, or a Camaro Sedan instead of a Malibu? Maybe even a Corvette Truck. Americans still love their SUVs. The vehicles would be designed as the Corvette or Camaro, but with the addition of 2-doors and a larger frame or wider wheelbase. The thought is comparable to what Porsche has done with their vehicles.

Also, consider the same with the SUVs and Crossovers. You could have a Suburban Hybrid instead of the Traverse, making it a smaller version. Additionally, make a Tahoe Hybrid as opposed to the Equinox, or a Camaro Truck. Obviously, those vehicles should be similarly designed to the “parent” SUV. This general and simple idea may create a division between those with standard Corvettes, Camaros, Tahoes, and Suburbans but people do love those names; and would appreciate having a car with a namesake they like. And a name that has been around for a long time. A name, in the automobile industry, is everything.

The idea is simple. And, similar to other automobile companies that have more successful businesses, as of now.

Regards,

A concerned customer

Still Valid to Fear Your Libido, Public Figures?

Be a sexual being, by all legal means, but if you are a public figure, then think twice about that. Public figures that are married should practice monogamy with their spouse. Others still ought to be responsible. (But what is responsible in an era where sex is readily accessible via the Internet and Sexting?) Public figures encompass everyone from politicians, to actors, to artists, to athletes, to other high-level officials. Seemingly, the greatest tool to find chinks in the amour of a public figure is by casting aspersions on their sexual exploits, not the substantive effects of their on the job decision making. Even in this evolving age of sexual acceptance, sexually deviant acts still damage the character of a person like no other. It’s just amazing how the private life of a person behind closed doors can affect how they are received publicly.

As awesome as social media and phones with camera functions are, they are dangerous to the character of a person given how the aforementioned items can lead to the downfall of a public figure for their “sexual indiscretions.” There is no quicker way to defame a person than suggesting they are less than wholesome in the sex department. Do you ever wonder what is going through the mind of the journalist, who is a sexual being, when reporting on the facts that knowingly could lead to the demise of that public figure? Is it clear public figures must have screwed over the wrong person when they get caught with their hands in the cookie jar? Certainly, some might get exposed collaterally under the misguided effort of another to make a fiscal gain.

What is a public figure to do? They should keep their noses clean. They have lots of power, prestige, and as a result people want to get next to them. They also have a great responsibility. But should they just stop doing what everyone else realizes is a perk of the job; or, are the masses going to come to the conclusion that what a person does in the privacy of their bedroom, so long as it is “legal” (thinking mainly of age requirement and consent issues), has no bearing on the quality of work that person is capable of professionally? Some may only do their job well because of the sexual acts they are able to engage in. Others could potentially be distracted by such engagements. It depends on the person. Thusly, it could be reasonable to question all of their choices.

The real issue is how this is affecting the moral fiber of a nation. The other issue is whether the nation even cares about the private sexual acts of public figures anymore. When kids hear about Bill Clinton, Tiger Woods, Anthony Weiner, Bret Favre, Larry Craig, or sex parties other such people host; do those kids grow up thinking that they still want to be the President, a great athlete, or successful politician so they can behave similarly? Maybe the youngsters want to restore the prestige of the positions. Maybe HBO’s airing of Real Sex and other late-night cable programs over expose the youngsters and their desire to engage in sex outweighs their desire to have a clean sexual reputation.

It could be that the perspective on acceptable behavior during marriage is tainted, while redefining the purpose of marriage. No matter how deplorable certain sexual acts may seem, less and less of the population is outraged by who and what they are doing. It’s more disappointing while being incredibly intriguing. It may be that the country has bigger problems to confront. Then, the media allows people to hear more details than ever. In fairness to the media, the media is only meeting the demands. Entertainment at it’s finest? Too bad it comes during the most shameful moment of another. Or is it a shameful moment?

Sexual exploits of a public figure should not bring down such a figure given it is a legal act. There are two reasons for that claim. First, the public figures should be smart enough not to get caught while abiding by the law. Second, if such a figure is caught, the amount of desensitization that has occurred given the history and exposure, the person should carry on as business as usual, unless of course that person was on the bubble.

Different parts of America view it differently, but having a vivid libido is not a regional phenomenon. Therefore shouldn’t enough people understand? Additionally, deplorable sexual acts of a public figure can only be classified as such because people have a level of expectation for those public figures. After the frequent disappointment by public figures, shouldn’t people get the picture that public figures aren’t what most think they are? Thusly, lowering expectations.

With this ever-changing culture, are people still keeping those old conventions of wisdom? At any rate, public figures ought to be smart about their decisions, if only to protect their career as opposed to a significant other. Those figures should also consider having more discipline because actions do have consequences. Obviously, sexual acts can be pleasurable, but they can be extremely harmful to those involved as well as uninvolved parties. Given that so many do not believe that public figures are not better than they are, why aren’t those same people more understanding of their blunders?

Being left with more questions than answers, harkening back to older principles is a consideration. 1) Do not sleep around because of fear of contracting an illness; 2) Do not sleep around for the possibility of creating a life with another person that will bind all parties as long as they live—even if that was not desired; 3) Understand that being with another person is about more than pleasure, but a romantic connection, which should be treated with respect.

Even though these prior statements may be parental guidelines for kids, they may be the best for everyone. But, it really seems that society is too far-gone and old ideals of morality are too.

 

Similar Fall of Super Point Guards

Please recall the presence Penny Hardaway, Allen Iverson, Baron Davis, Steve Francis, Stephon Marbury, and Gilbert Arenas had in the NBA beginning in the mid-Nineties. People may say that injuries and age led to their demise, but more than anything it was of their own making. The Philadelphia 76ers graciously allowed Allen Iverson to give the game ball to the head referee during a Playoff game this past season.  Iverson was nearly in tears as he was reminded of the adulation he received from fans during his tenure as a Sixer when fans gave him a standing ovation during his short walk to hand the game ball to the ref.  It was an uncomfortable moment watching A.I. lap up the applause while knowing he was wishing he could still be playing, for various reasons. Allen is not alone in desiring for himself to be on an NBA basketball court again. There are many fans that wish they could still see the likes of “The Answer,” “Agent Zero,” “Penny,” “Starbury,” “BD,” and “Stevie Franchise.”

Penny Hardaway

Penny, a Memphis native, was amazing. He was like a mythical combination of Jordan and Magic. He just needed the years of sustained excellence to really get that ascension to legendary status that Jordan and Magic own respectively. It didn’t happen for Penny due to locker room issues, injuries, and a term I heard another basketball player use—check-love. The NBA game will take a toll on your body; and it seemingly got to Penny’s. The league is still waiting for someone of his talent, skill, and size to emerge again. Just take the epicness of Penny’s ad campaign as indication of his basketball excellence.

Allen Iverson

Allen Iverson is the greatest little man to ever play at the NBA level. That is taking into consideration Isiah Thomas, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, and Bob Cousy. Iverson lead his out matched team to the NBA finals against a Lakers team of Kobe and Shaq, which included the Sixers winning the first game of the series in Los Angeles. Seeing that happen was more than impressive. Sadly, the 76ers lost in five games.

A.I. put his team on his back for years, and they were winning with nothing else (no intended disrespect to those Sixer players). In order for that team to win a championship, they would have to shoot seventy-five to eighty percent, with the great defense they played. But, what made Allen Iverson special was his unguardability. But, as he aged, he needed to play with others in a way that he had not during his entire career in order to win championships. Championships are what all organizations want. Allen Iverson was not willing to accept a reduced role, which led to his ousting from the NBA. It’s still rather unbelievable that one of the greatest NBA players of all time was ousted from the league. Mind boggling! Mr. Iverson dealt with off-court issues of various kinds that were no longer being mitigated by his greatness of play. After not wanting to come off the bench in Memphis, or during a second term with the Sixers, Allen walked away from the NBA; or the NBA from him.

Steve Francis 

Steve Francis’s basketball career ultimately dropped off as abruptly as he hit the national scene during his one-year stint at the University of Maryland. He was TOUGH. He could shoot, drive, dish, and dunk. He was full of highlight plays, and put up crazy numbers anywhere he played, especially summer league basketball. He got all the money one could ask for based on his early years in the NBA, but soon he became a liability for every team he played with since he was not worth the money he was receiving.

When he was shipped to Orlando, he wasn’t able to make the All-Star team because of the rising star that was Gilbert Arenas. Arenas made the team instead. The problem with Steve Francis is that he rose and fell so fast that people forgot about his talent. After a lackluster season with the Knicks, a $30 million buyout by Portland for him not to play, and a second tour with the Rockets where he got more money; he saw his NBA career end in Memphis—an organization he was originally drafted by, then based in Vancouver, and pouted enough to be traded. The reason for his fall can be speculated upon, but there are no doubts that it ended prematurely because his play stopped matching the pay or other issues he presented.

Stephon Marbury

Great basketball debates surrounded whether Stephon Marbury was a more premier player than Steve Francis, Baron Davis, or Allen Iverson. He was New York’s son. Marbury did outshine Penny and Francis when they crossed paths on the same team in New York. After emerging from Georgia Tech to play along side Kevin Garnett, Marbury was able to make his own statement with the Nets, Suns, and Knicks. He could absolutely put up big numbers, while wowing the fans with his crossover and passing. He solidified his ability to play when he led the East back from a large second-half deficit to win the NBA All-star game held in Washington, D.C. But in all honesty, he was not as good as those other guys.

Presumably, he was on a short leash after sharing the headlines with Allen Iverson on the 2004 Olympic Team that was fortunate to grab the bronze. Since then, various coaching feuds, and a 24-hour video stream of his life, allowed him to slide downhill quickly. Having a king’s ransom to play basketball while in the Big Apple creates a lot of pressure and distractions. Ultimately, no NBA teams were willing to deal with his antics after a short stint with the Celtics. “Starbury” can still be found playing abroad, unlike Iverson and Francis who weren’t willing to assimilate to their new circumstances. Respect.

Baron Davis

Baron Davis electrified basketball fans while at UCLA for one year, before taking his talents to the League. Baron was a real point guard with great passing skills that had the ability to light it up and dunk on anybody. He is no different from his counterparts in that he made a bad basketball career decision or two, which ultimately led to his career taking a turn for the worst. First, once Dwyane Wade scored that buzzer beater on him and the Hornets during a playoff game, Davis immediately dropped in the player rankings. If it wasn’t stated, Davis certainly felt it. That shot by Wade visibly hurt Davis’s confidence.

He had a resurgence with Golden State during the season they beat the top seeded Mavs as an eight-seed, and dunking all over Andrei Kirilenko in the next round. Davis’s stock shot back up. But, his luck stopped after re-signing with the Clippers. That move ultimately ruined him. It was said he was distracted in L.A.–he took less money to do it—and then was traded away once Blake Griffin started to emerge. He barely played in Cleveland due to injury, then landed in New York to hold the reigns with Carmelo and Stoudemire. His back injury kept him down, while Jeremy Lin exploded. He eventually took that spot over, before suffering a gruesome knee injury during the playoffs this past year against Miami. That injury likely slammed the door shut on his NBA career, but he failure to meet expectations with the Clippers really did it. Interpersonal problems with management is to blame there, but maintaining good rapport with an employer is par for the course as a professional. He was unable to do that there. Stuff happens. The Clippers’s owner is notorious for being a jerk, but you have to keep the guy paying you happy. Egos.

Gilbert Arenas

Gilbert Arenas was the second most lethal scorer of them all. He is only second to Allen Iverson, a recurring scoring champion. Agent Zero brought a flare to the game that many only wish they could, but his brightness petered. Mr. Arenas has a great story regarding his rise to stardom. His Internet blogging made him fascinating to hear talk and play. He started a trend of the number Zero being incredibly popular to wear; a number not usually reserved for stars. He was a very outspoken star who wanted to make people regret ever treating him with less respect than he knew he deserved. Arenas may have been one of the hardest working players in the NBA—he played in—next to Kobe Bryant, but that all changed with a knee injury.

That knee injury coupled with a huge contract he once deserved, and locker room problems (an understatement) altered the trajectory of his career. At 30, he can still be effective on an NBA team as a second or third scorer, but it will require an organization to give him a chance to excel considering his well-documented issues. Gilbert Arenas still has a role to fulfill in the NBA, but that decision is not within his control. His talent dictates that he should be on someone’s team. Additionally, it would be refreshing to have him in the NBA as a comeback story, but that shipped may have sailed.

In Conclusion

Interestingly enough, Penny, Iverson, Francis, and Arenas all share a common ground of Memphis. Hopefully, Arenas’s stint in Memphis is not his NBA death sentence since he still has an inkling of NBA life left. And, hopefully it is not an omen for any super point guard who has been through Memphis. These guys all dealt with a dynamic of cost versus worth from the front office. The NBA show is moving on, and with the endless talent pool that exists in the world for basketball athletes, organizations do not need to revisit past success stories to get new ones.  In essence, the next generation of super point guards including Russell Westbrook, John Wall, Tyreke Evans, Deron Williams, and Derrick Rose, should heed the stories of their predecessors. All of these players deserve tons of respect for their ability and basketball accomplishments.

No Country for Late Bloomers

No matter the chosen field, the difficulty entering into a profession becomes excruciatingly harder the later a person starts. This country rewards precociousness. The evidence is all around us. Not only must you not be a Late Bloomer, you have to be young with a plan. The funny thing is, life is a marathon, but most decision makers are watching how folks start to determine how they will finish. The take away is: be a great starter, worry about the middle from a better position, and finish strong. Obviously, this is only true regarding a particular person’s want to excel in particular professions. This point is reflected in athletics, but there are exceptions to every rule. Late bloomers can “make it” and make for a good story because of the uniqueness.

Being a Doctor

Looking to the medical profession, if a person wants to become a doctor, they must make that pointed decision early in their college careers for ease-sake. The reason an aspiring doctor must make that decision earlier is because medical schools require a certain undergraduate curriculum. This curriculum will be helpful when taking the medical school entrance exam. Then, the application period is at least a yearlong process that requires an applicant to set up an online-account that compiles the entire academic and experience information that med schools require, for an applicant. Mind you, this is not cheap.

Money aside, once a person decides to attend med school, which is a four-year stint, they have to select a field of expertise which requires additional years of—essentially—learning, that varies based on the chosen field. Some people, who have a burning desire to be a doctor, but did not plan ahead in college can elect for a “post-bacc,” which is a quirky and short way of saying, take the college classes necessary to fulfill the med school requirements. Usually, a post-bacc is a two-year process that involves taking college class, the MCAT, and applying to med school (not free of costs).

Notice, all the people who successfully complete this process have great academic credentials—especially those who attend the top med schools. The point is this: in order to be a doctor, a person has to not only know—early—that that is the profession they desire, but they must be great academically at a young age. This is to show the ability to complete the rigors medical school demands.

It is possible for a person to make the decision to be a medical doctor at years after graduating from college, or later, but pressing the reset button at that later age is a major life change. Additionally, there are Board Exams every doctor has to pass in order to be a doctor too. There are at least four, and you have to study really hard (an understatement) and pay for each; some require you to travel. At any rate, life circumstances are essential to making such a massive decision. Doing the aforementioned, while at a young age, with no other obligations, makes it easier to achieve.

Being a Lawyer

Medical school may be the toughest professional journey this American education system offers, but law school runs a distance second which ain’t easy. It is arguable that the most difficult aspect of attending law school, now, is the cost versus reward, but the potential that comes with a Juris Doctorate degree is incredible. Another obvious difficult part is actually attending while remaining long enough to graduate. The difficulty in that is enduring the most competitive academic atmosphere. This is undeniable given the forced curve that exists, which requires people to fail (many schools have eroded this grading schedule). The other difficult aspect, which comes first, is the entrance exam and applying. Keep in mind the costs and life sacrifices being made in order to pursue this career, much like medicine. Oh! And, a person is not a lawyer until passing a bar, which is a separate beast, after three intense years of school. Another hurdle exists. Most states require that you pass a national Professional Responsibility exam in order to be admitted to the bar. And, once you have done all that, and you’re a Lawyer, then you have to fulfill CLE (Continuing Legal Education) courses to be remain a part of the bar. Basically, being a lawyer or any other kind of professional is not a quick-response decision, so starting early is more than beneficial.

Today, going to college is a prerequisite for professional success, which requires a modicum of academic prowess during high school that will give a platform to compete when job hunting. Basically, the young and “successful,” started their path for success at a very ripe age.

Medical doctors or lawyers are not the only professions where being precocious is all but a requirement. Think about working at the premier companies, banking institutions, or being a high-level government employee or official. When applying for those positions, post-college, many require impeccable academic records with a certain background, while considering the undergraduate institution attended. Those companies, banks, and government positions also consider the quality of internships performed during a college career. Inherent in being a professional is having a graduate level education that requires a graduate degree in Business Administration, Medicine, Nursing, Law, or a science, including engineering.

Thus, if a person gets the proverbial picture later, they are at a disadvantage given the procedural requirements necessary to get on track, given the likely life changes that grad school requires. That person may probably be behind the ball in terms of study, and other functional academic skills. This is not to be discouraging so much as informative. Late Bloomers have to be inventive, bold, and passionate to make up for getting with the program later. Many times, Late Bloomers have an advantage in real world experiences that make them very formidable when entering a new profession, but those intangibles gained are not quantifiable and summarily dismissed if devoid of other necessary stats.

High School Freshman, who have a greater chance to do something about it, need to be thinking ten years ahead. This is necessary given the new competitive, international world. High School Freshman should be thinking each grade from a class matters, while taking on extracurricular activities for well-roundedness, if not because they like them, but for application purposes. Having a plan and knowledge of how to get there is an advantage. Please be aware of the increasingly competitive world that exists, where nepotism and cronyism is less normal. Parents are crafting their children from daycare forward, so thinking a person can just start as a High School Freshman is naïve, but high school performance is when people start checking for your ability to succeed. (Note: the high school attended matters.)

In job hunting and applying for school at any level, having a prior showing of excellence somewhere is required. No one is giving out chances. Accountability is par for the course, which is based on prior performance. Late Bloomers are disadvantaged in that realm given they must make up for those gaps, or lack of [fill-in the blank] that make them Late Bloomers. Not many people want to take a chance on such, but they may be the best for the position or opening, if shown that is their passion, as opposed to the next logical progression for the precocious youngster who only believed that was a good thing to pursue.

Those who lived life, while trying to figure it out along the way, do not fret as long as once you kick it in gear you have stick-to-it-tive-ness, maybe the most necessary quality when running the marathon that is life. There will be bumps, ditches, and some other obstacles in the road.

Team USA 2012 would Beat The Dream Team!

The better “team” is The Dream Team…for historical purposes. The Dream Team was comprised of the most iconic players in basketball history—with an exception or two. Stating that the Dream Team is better than Team USA 2012 is out of absolute respect for those men that comprised the roster, such as Magic, Bird, Jordan, Barkley, Malone, Stockton, Mullin, and Pippen etc. The awe and hysterics that surrounded The Dream Team prevents the reasonable basketball fan and those of older generations who saw the members play in their youth from saying any other team will ever be considered better—or even beat them. President Barrack Obama said it best stating, “ it’s a generational thing.” That’s a great political approach, but even with that, it is difficult to argue The Dream Team could not be beaten by any of their successors, especially the 2012 team that combines talent and accomplishments never witnessed before.

Team USA 2012 assembles unique and incredible talent. Kobe Bryant was the elder statesman, but still one of the most effective players, while the younger yet flourishing talent of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook were incredible. LeBron James had a historic run that got an exclamation point with a Gold medal. LeBron showed just how versatile his game is. Carmelo Anthony proved something to the world with his ability to score unconsciously. This team was held together excellently with the point guard play of Chris Paul and Deron Williams. Deron Williams is the better overall talent, by the way. And, Coach Krzyzewski never had to worry when making subs because every member of the team brought their great A-game. Please know that Andre Iguodala is a better athlete than Clyde Drexler (compare their respective dunk contests), and has more game, given the twenty-year gap.

It has been repeated that eleven Hall of Famers (to later be named such) comprised the 1992 team.  There could potentially be eleven, future Hall of Famers on the 2012 team, but many years will determine that. Even still, the amount of Hall of Famers shouldn’t be the determining factor of who could win a game or series of games between the two teams. That 1992 Olympic team lived up to expectations, and left all their successors to be compared to that team. The Dream Team set the bar extremely high while spawning an international movement for the love of basketball, including each of the members of Team USA 2012. Now, twenty years later, people dispute whether Team 2012 team could beat The Dream Team? The answer should be a resounding yes.

Analysts assessed each member of The Dream Team while comparing them to each of the members of the 2012 team, as if to prove the individual talent will be the deciding factor when those teams were to square off in a theoretical world. This is a team-game, and after seeing how well Team 2012 played, analysts must reconsider their approach.

Additionally, analysts have referred to statistics. That is an awful way to determine how a team would face off against each other, since statistics cannot equate for the quality of competition the respective teams faced during their games to gain those statistics. The statistics cannot equate for how those teams would compete with one another on a given day.

Other analysts have mentioned the size advantage The Dream Team has over 2012, which is undeniable, as the reason why they would win. But again, those who presuppose that The Dream Team would actually run their offense through the big men, and that those big men would also be the more effective match-up on the court to spearhead a win is too presumptuous. Therefore, any such analysis should summarily fail because there is no way to know how the game would actually be played. Moreover, basketball, as it is played today (assuming today’s game is more effective), has virtually eradicated the big man because larger men have developed complete basketball skills.

One of the best arguments for why The Dream Team would win is that their team had greater competitors. That’s a great argument because that’s something that can only be debated in theory; and in theory, heart will prevail over talent during crunch time. The problem there is that analysts measured heart by the championships earned by each member of each team. This 2012 is younger and has many more years to go to earn those coveted championships to prove their heart. Thus, it is an unfair analysis. (Note, Clyde Drexler didn’t win his championships until after the 1992 Olympics, while Stockton, Malone, Barkley, Ewing, Mullin, and Laettner were unable to reach that achievement. Plus, Jordan and Pippen earned titles as teammates, while Magic and Bird scrapped and clawed for them against one another. David Robinson was able to reach the pinnacle when he became one of the Twin Towers with Tim Duncan.) This is not undermine The Dream Team’s greatness, nor should it undermine the championship-less 2012ers, who have years to earn their championships in a super-team-laden NBA.

So, once it is understood that no amalgam of factors can create a bright-line standard, it is necessary to move forward and think basketball. In honesty, it’s illogical to say what result would occur, but it is fun to debate.

The game has evolved. In general, today’s athletes are better than athletes of yesterday much like technology, which only gets better. For example, most of us objectively believe a MacBook is better than a desktop computer from 1992, which would be like saying 2012 players are better than players of 1992. Some may argue otherwise, but although people may like retro clothes and shoes like Jordans more than today’s clothes and shoes for style purposes, people would much rather perform their craft in the more advanced LeBrons. The advancement of technology does not always hold up in athletics as an analogy given that there are world records that still stand from years ago—but few—like Florence Griffith Joyner’s are exceptions to the rule. Maybe The Dream Team is that exception, but likely not.

Therefore, based on the way the game is being played today, one could assume it is better than how basketball was played then, in 1992. In general, to say that life or basketball was better in 1992 than 2012 is tantamount to saying life and basketball was better in 1972 than 1992 (please make the argument to hear how ridiculous you sound). In addition to the athletes being better, it is clear that the 2012 team would win on this theory. There are holes in this theory and is not enough to make an accurate determination of who would win, but it’s better than comparing players head-to-head.

Analysts should consider the respective competition 2012 played compared to that of The Dream Team. Looking to the body of work of Team USA 2012’s, in a new era of international basketball, will be extremely helpful. Under this view, please consider that The Dream Team is great without exception and nothing should be taken away from them for destroying each team put in front of them. But, the 2012 team played against tougher talent and teams. No team was in awe of the 2012ers, with maybe the exception of Tunisia. Team 2012 was prevented from intimidating their way to blow outs like The Dream Team. The world has caught up.

Team 2012 set multiple records in a game against a Nigerian team that beat Team 2012’s closest, score-wise, competitor in Lithuania (that should tell us something about how any one game can go and how talented all the Olympic teams actually were in 2012). That Nigerian team would have arguably been that best team The Dream Team would have played in 1992 as far as talent of player. Each member of the Nigerian team played in the United States, given most, if not all, grew up in the States.

The Nigerians not only had two NBA players, but every other player played at the NCAA Division-I level. The most recognizable of which was Tony Skinn who played on that legendary George Mason team that made the Final Four run, a few years ago. Additionally, those Nigerians who are not NBA players are international pros. The reason Team Nigeria was beaten so handily (an understatement) is because Team 2012 played one of the best offensive games ever witnessed on a basketball court. A person would be reasonable to partially fault the Nigerian coaching staff for allowing that type of game-flow. Nonetheless, Team 2012 beat an athletic, skilled, and seasoned Nigerian team by 83 points. The scoring difference would have beaten the Nigerians (wtf and lol). Sadly, if you have ever played a game like that, you know how hard it is to follow up that kind of performance, which is what happened against Lithuania.

In essence, Team 2012 did what no other team has ever done in the Olympics, which secured 2012’s greatness. That game was a consummate team performance, which indicates their greatness as a cohesive unit, and their ability to play together to win. Even with Carmelo Anthony’s American individual scoring record, there was no one person to stop that game—obviously. If Team 2012 shot the ball the way they did in the Nigerian-game against anyone else, then Team 2012 would win, even against The Dream Team. So, could Team 2012 beat The Dream Team? The answer: without a doubt!

Not only was the Nigerian team a very formidable team talent-wise, but every other team in the tournament was too. Most teams had at least one player being a recognizable NBA talent. Some teams such as France, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and Great Brittan had multiple. Team 2012, dismantled three of those teams, while finding themselves in an exhibition battle with Brazil (with 5 NBA players) and a gold medal challenge against Spain. Some of those players were integral parts of NBA championship teams (Pau Gasol, Manu Ginobli).

The competition that Team 2012 played was far superior to the competition The Dream Team faced while having very similar team numbers, for those who like statistics. This tournament and the following years to come will reveal that high level of talent that Team 2012 possesses, which prevents the theory that The Dream Team members are better individually. How many people mentioned that Anthony Davis is far better than Christian Laetner as a member of his team, and will be a much better pro? Yet, Davis had a hard time seeing the floor, but when he did he was dominant.

Let’s be honest too. Team 2012 is more athletic from top to bottom, and a better shooting team with better ball skills. John Stockton wouldn’t know what to do with Deron Williams. The advanced ball skills come with twenty plus years of evolution. For example, Kobe may not be “greater” than Jordan, but he is a better shooter, mid-range or otherwise although Jordan was more explosive. Kids are getting better training, at an earlier age, and have incredible access to information to better their games. Even though The Dream Team was a better passing team, it wouldn’t make up for their deficiencies to Team 2012 elsewhere. (The ability to pass players open is a lost art in the game today, with the exception of Nash and Jason Kidd.) Magic and Stockton are the greatest at that skill. Even if they are not the greatest –who is? Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and Russell Westbrook are not better passers than those two. And, yes, LeBron is a good passer, but nothing like Magic. While this is true, Team 2012 was still able to assist at an incredible rate, and was statistically comparable to the “greatest team ever assembled in any sport.”

The Dream Team may also have the rebounding advantage, but definitely the better inside scoring presence. The NBA is devoid of scoring big men, outside of Andrew Bynum, and he is too shaky at times. Dwight Howard is a very athletic guy that has much work to do offensively. Team 2012 would have the advantage athletically and on the perimeter with speed and skill. The skill must be given to the perimeter players of Team 2012 since the entire team was comprised of mainly guards who showed the ability to be diverse in skill enough to play a myriad of positions.

If these teams were to square up in a time-travel supporting universe, the game would be decided by the prevailing style of play. The Dream Team would use their mixture of power and finesse while Team 2012 would use speed and sharp shooting.  Which style wins? It would depend on the day.

One could assert that the difference in the game or games would come down to coaching. How will the coaches decide to play their guys, arrange defensive match-ups, and pace the game?  After doing that, the coaches would have to play around with their line-ups to decide what would be best during the game. If Team 2012 was proving too hard to guard with their “smaller” yet faster line-up, The Dream Team would have to adapt by playing more guards. And, with the deeper amount of guards going to 2012 that would not bode well for The Dream Team. Now, if The Dream Team’s approach to basketball with a true power forward and center was proving to be successful, Coach K would be best served by sticking to his method in hopes that the 3-pointer and speed would eventually win-out, since Team 2012 does not have the personnel to match-up with size, although Love, LeBron, and Melo would be good match-ups at power forward.

It is useless to go through an analysis of each match-up to say who would out shine the other. But, please note that players of 2012 are of superior skill, although no one will say heart. Maybe it is true that the hearts of earlier generations are tougher. That is probably true since they had to do more with less and overcome greater obstacles in order to make life easier/better for the following generation. With that, you see that the following generations excel faster and go to greater heights, like Team 2012 showed us with their record-setting performances.

If you disagree, please visit the tapes of each team, or the tapes of each member of the respective teams, and you will see the difference in quality of skill. In assessing the tape of the players from the respective teams, a viewer would find that 2012 team members have more fluidity in ball handling, and greater ability to make tough shots, with the exception of maybe Jordan.

To say the game has not moved forward after twenty-years would be a complete insult to coaching, training, and nature. The members of Team 2012 have risen to the top in the most competitive era basketball has ever witnessed given The Dream Team members made basketball an incredibly popular sport to play world-wide.

After paying homage to The Dream Team, it is also necessary to respect the standard The Dream Team members set as basketball players.  Team 2012 has met that standard as individuals, and some of the 2012 members have elevated the game. Kevin Durant is a prime example of that given he stands at 6’11” and plays the game like an excellent 6’2” guard. Another example is LeBron James, who is physically comparable to Karl Malone, but his game is that of a more skilled Oscar Robertson. People loved to make the Kobe-Jordan comparison all the time, and it can continue. Carmelo Anthony is another 6’9” guard with interior scoring ability, who is most like what Charles Barkley presented, but in a larger more efficient package given Melo’s ability to shoot and handle the ball. We all love The Dream Team. The hype and success of that team may never be matched, but on the court that team has been surpassed skill-wise by the Team USA 2012 players. Therefore, Team USA 2012 would beat The Dream Team.

RyApproach

Ry Approach

Name: Ry Approach (like intentional misspelling of wry, but R and Y are the first two letters of my first name, and it’s my approach or perspective, which may be wry at times).

D.O.B: August 25, 2012

Sex or Gender: From a Male perspective

Hometown: Washington, DC; have lived in Chatham, VA; Elon, NC; Stony Brook, NY; Carbondale, IL; and, Philadelphia, PA

Race: Doesn’t matter…does it matter?

Religion: Education/”There is a God”

Education: B.A. in Psychology, J.D., and an LL.M in Intellectual Property