Former NBA player Derrick Coleman explains why the often forgotten 'Dream Team II' from 1994 would beat the original 'Dream Team'. The former All-Star is convinced the second Dream Team had enough firepower to take down the legendary team from the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.
The Forgotten 1994 Team USA
In a recent interview for the Basketball News podcast featuring Tim Thomas, former NBA All-Star Derrick Coleman, among many other things, talked about the Dream Team II he was a part of in 1994. This squad, just like their predecessors, dominantly beat their opponents by an average margin of 36 points. However, it was evident that the rest of the world was slowly but surely catching up to the US on the international basketball scene.
The second Dream Team and a squad that often gets forgotten is the 1994 Team USA which won the FIBA World Championship. It featured a much younger generation of NBA players from the original squad because they insisted that none of the members on the original team participate in the competition. The US had numerous talented players at their disposal, and after the Olympics in Barcelona, every US-born player wanted to have the opportunity to represent their country in international tournaments.
Dream Team 1992: Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Christian Laettner, Karl Malone, Chris Mullin, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson, and John Stockton.
Dream Team II: Derrick Coleman, Joe Dumars, Kevin Johnson, Larry Johnson, Shawn Kemp, Dan Majerle, Reggie Miller, Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O'Neal, Mark Price, Steve Smith, and Dominique Wilkins, Isiah Thomas(Injured), Tim Hardaway (Injured).
Coleman wasn't scared of Jordan
In a hypothetical matchup between these two squads, Derrick Coleman brought in several arguments to back up his claims that they would beat the original Dream Team. Coleman said Larry Bird wasn't even a factor because he was mostly injured while they had many young guys ready to go. On top of that, he doesn't think Michael Jordan would be a factor because they also had a lot of great guards on the team. Obviously, they weren't on the same level as Jordan, but they could definitely do some damage.
"We were just better because all of us were in our prime anyway. Larry Bird was lying on the floor with his back broken; he couldn't do anything. If you are talking about matchups and everybody is like, what about Mike, and I said, what about Mike? Who knocked Mike out of the playoffs every year? Isiah and Joe, who was my guard. I got Joe, Mark Price, Reggie Miller, Steve Smith. Those are my guards, and I have the 8th Wonder of The World, which is Shaq. I got Dominique at the three, and at the power forward, you can put me there, you can put Shawn Kemp there, you can put Alonzo Mourning or Larry Johnson there."
Coleman has all the right to be optimistic about his squad and teammates, and there is no question they would present a serious challenge against the original Dream Team. For him, as a true competitor, it would be one of the best moments of his career because you can say you are going against the best players on a planet. Who would win is impossible to answer. I guess that this squad could beat the original Dream Team but would probably lose in an imaginary seven-game series.
Even though the 1994 Team USA squad often gets forgotten, they continued the success for the country on the international basketball scene. Several players later joined the 1996 Olympics team that featured 5 players from the original Dream Team. That also marked the birth of a new era of young superstars in the NBA coming out on the international market while growing the league as a product worldwide.