After Deron Williams was traded from the Utah Jazz to the New Jersey Nets, I thought of comparing the rosters of the Dream and Redeem Teams three years after their Olympic stints.
In the roster above -- three years after the US 1992 team's triumphant win in the Barcelona Olympics -- Christian Laettner was with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Larry Bird had retired, Clyde Drexler was in his first year with the Houston Rockets, and Magic Johnson was in the midst of his return to the NBA with the LA Lakers. Other than that, there would be no movement for the players until a few years later. So everyone was pretty much set. Scottie Pippen would play for Houston and Portland but he returned to the Bulls for one last season before he retired. Ditto with Chris Mullin who went to Indiana for a few years before returning to his original team in Golden State. Patrick Ewing play most of his career for New York before he joined Seattle. Michael Jordan played two years for the Washington Wizards but he spent most of his time with the Bulls.
For the Redeem Team that won the gold in the Beijing Olympics, the modern-day Stockton-to-Malone in Utah in Deron Williams-to-Carlos Boozer had been broken up. Boozer is now with the Chicago Bulls and Williams with the Nets. LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined Dwyane Wade in Miami. And Carmelo Anthony is now a Knick.
What I am trying to point out is not only was the Dream Team older and supposedly more mature but four of them to exact -- Stockton, Bird, Johnson and Robinson -- stayed with the team that drafted them into the NBA. Of course, the jury is still out on the eventual fates of the Redeem Team players but it looks like Kobe Bryant, Michael Redd and Dwight Howard are the remaining hoopsters who could hang up their sneakers with their original squads. That's how free agency has changed the league so much that loyalty is pretty much a thing of the past.
I thought that lightning struck twice in Utah with Deron to Carlos. But... I guess it didn't work out. And... the Stockton-to-Malone tandem in Utah was and will always be unique.