When Anthony Davis was selected to the Olympic team he joined Christian Laenetter as the only players to do so directly after college. The difference, Times-Picayune’s Jimmy Smith says, is unlike Laettner, Davis will provide an impact at some point. In his article comparing the two collegiate statrs turned Olympians, he characterized Laettner as basically a practice dummy for the “Dream Team.”
Laettner, who had played for four years at Duke, was part of the 1992 USA roster that included Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, David Robinson and other legends of the game.
Though Laettner played in each game – the Americans won every game it played by an average of more than 43 points at the Games – Laettner was more a practice-session whipping boy. Davis, 6 feet 10, 230 pounds, is expected to shoulder a bit more in-game responsibility.
Sports Illustrated’s Jack McCallum who wrote a book chronicaling the ’92 team shares the same sentiments as Smith.
“Without question,” said McCallum, who’s covering the London Games for NBC Sports’ Olympic website. “I think they really need Anthony Davis. From what I’ve seen (of Davis), unlike Laettner, I think they needed him. I actually thought he’d make the team without the injury to (Blake) Griffin. I thought he’d be one of the 12 because of his length and athleticism.
Great article by Smith… especially if you are a Kentucky fan.