The Admiral Returns To Barcelona
20 Years After Capturing Olympic Gold In Barcelona, David Robinson ReturnsBarcelona, Spain • July 23, 2012
Twenty years after capturing Olympic gold in Barcelona as a member of the famed Dream Team, USA Basketball legend and Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson returned to Barcelona for the 2012 USA National Team's training and games there. A gold medalist at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, "The Admiral" also added to his collection a bronze medal from the 1988 Olympics and was the USA's first men's basketball three-time Olympian.
In his three Olympic appearances, Robinson averaged 12.8 ppg. and 6.8 rpg. in 1988, 9.0 ppg. and 4.1 rpg. in 1992, and then finished off his international career in 1996 averaging 12.0 ppg. and 4.6 rpg.
He still holds USA career records for the Olympics for games played with 24; points scored with 280 (11.7 ppg.); rebounds with 124 (5.2 rpg.); and blocked shots with 34 (1.4 bpg.)
Robinson took time out during Monday's practice to speak with media and USABasketball.com and discussed a variety of things from the 2012 squad to the question everyone loves to ask - who would win if the 1992 and 2012 teams met.
On the 2012 USA Men’s Olympic Team:
They’ve got guys who are virtually unstoppable when they want to be. You got a LeBron James and Kevin Durant, you’ve seen guys like Russell Westbrook go off. Kobe – you know what he can do. These guys are unstoppable. So, it’s going to be tough for any team to slow us down but we have to control the ball. We have to be able to rebound. We have to be able to play solid defense – no wide open 3’s, all kinds of things like that. If we do a good job on the defensive end, we should be ok.
Will that frontcourt of Spain be a really big problem for the USA team?
They’re tough. They’re tough. In the international competition, the timing of the game is a little bit different. They can hang around a little bit. If you don’t take care of your business, they’ll be right back in the game. A 20-point lead doesn’t mean the game is over in international competition. They need to watch out.
Do you think more guys will want to be like you, LeBron and Carmelo and
play in the Olympics three times?
I think so. I think it still has a great feel to it. I grew up with the Olympics so I always thought there is no way I wouldn’t play in the Olympics. I think these guys enjoy coming together. This is a tremendous experience for all of them. It looks like everybody is having a lot of fun. I would guess that guys would want to do it as many times as they could.
What would have happened in ’92 if the United States played the former
Yugoslavia team united?
I don’t know. That’s a good question. We’d have to put them on the floor and see. Yugoslavia has had some phenomenal players, great players over the years. We’d have to put them out there and see. I like our chances.
If Yugoslavia was together, was that a team that could have stopped your
I don’t know about that. I don’t know if there were enough players to make it as competitive back then. There were a lot. I don’t know. It would have been fun to see. I would have been very interesting.
Looking back 20 years, how do you compare that team to this USA team?
That was kind of a once in a lifetime thing, that team. Watching these guys now, this is the best the NBA has to offer. It’s fantastic to see the uniqueness of each team as it comes together. This team has had a couple of injuries; they still have some work left to do and hopefully they’ll iron out all those little kinks and really get it rolling in the Olympics.
How do you see yesterday’s game when Argentina pushed the USA?
I saw yesterday’s game as a great challenge for these guys. Argentina is a very experienced team. Those guys, they know each other, they play well together. They’re very confident. They’ve won the Olympics in the past … great warmup game. They’re not a team you can take for granted as they showed last night. So I think it was a good test for our guys and they passed the test. So, that’s a good thing.
Would this team be able to play with the ’92 team?
I don’t know. It’s hard to say. The ’92 team had some older, more experienced guys. These guys still have a few more years to put in but they’re certainly on track to be a great, great team.