With Jay-Z, ‘Dream Team’ vs 2012 squad
by Jeffrey Martin, USA TODAY Sports
Kobe Bryant launched the debate, suggesting at the London Olympics that the 2012 U.S. men’s basketball team would prevail in a mythical match-up against its more famous predecessor, the 1992 “Dream Team.”
Michael Jordan laughed in response, pointing out he was one of 11 eventual players on his squad who are now in the Hall of Fame.
Rap icon Jay-Z knew where to settle it: at the gaming console.
The entertainer and minority owner of the Brooklyn Nets joined 2K Games as an executive producer on its NBA 2K13 game, to be released Tuesday. Jay-Z wanted the company to include both Olympic teams on the game, but was initially told the licensing hurdles would take too much time.
“He said, ‘You have to have the Dream Team,’” said Jason Argent, 2K’s vice president of marketing. “We explained the licensing aspect and said it probably wasn’t in the cards this year. He said, ‘If I’m executive producing this game, this is something we really, really need in the game.’”
According to Argent, Jay-Z felt so strongly about including the 1992 team — the first to include active NBA players with a roster packed with superstars such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Scottie Pippen, John Stockton and Karl Malone — that in one meeting he tried to call two holdouts, Pippen and Charles Barkley, to broker licensing deals.
“The bottom line is he took this very seriously and he was the primary impetus in making this happen,” Argent said.
Jay-Z was not available for comment.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is one of 2K13′s three cover athletes — Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose and Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin are the others.
In London, Durant heard comparisons between the ’92 and ’12 teams, but stayed out of the discussion. But he said he’s excited about seeing two U.S. teams separated by 20 years square off, at least digitally.
“I can’t wait to see that, man,” Durant said to USA TODAY Sports. “They did so much for the game. Those are guys we all looked up to … It’ll be cool to have them in the game and to play … [For more on With Jay-Z's help, 'Dream Team' can play 2012 squad, click here.]