Monday, August 11, 2014

1996 USA Men's basketball team boasted the best frontcourt of all time

While gazing at my Starting Lineup box set of the 1996 USA Men's Basketball team I realized something; that team may have boasted the fiercest frontcourt in the history of basketball.

The 1992 Dream Team is often credited as the greatest basketball team, or team in general, ever assembled, and rightfully so. That 1992 team was such a unique, crazy collection of talent and timing that it could never be duplicated.

The 1996 squad lacked a bit of that superstar power, as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird were all noticeably not on the team. But, what the team lacked in international superstar lore and perimeter production, they more than made up for with their frontcourt.

Between Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaquielle O'Neal, and David Robinson, the team boasted 3 of the 10 best centers to ever hit the hardwood, and 2 of the 5 best power forwards ever in Charles Barkley and Karl Malone.

So the team, which consisted of 12 total players, included 5 of the best front court players of all time.

No team since, or before for that matter, has complied a better rotation of dominant, back-to-the-basket bigs, and multi-faceted forwards. With the way the game is headed, with less emphasis on the traditional center spot and increasing import placed on floor-spacing ability, it seems safe to say that such a deep, fierce front court, likely won't be assembled again.

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