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Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan

On Wednesday, I'm minding my own business on Twitter when I see this tweet from Instruction Editor Luke Kerr-Dineen (who is a displaced Brit in the United States, by the way). 

It got me thinking. He's kind of right! This U.S. Ryder Cup team is incredible and spans multiple generations. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson have been representing the U.S. in international competition since the 1990s. This may be the last time we see them with some game left, playing with young guns like Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler. And that's not even mentioning Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed. So before the Yanks open play against Europe at Le Golf National on Friday, here are comparisons for each 2018 U.S. Ryder Cup player as a 1992 U.S. Olympic basketball player.[YIELDMO]

Tiger Woods: Michael Jordan

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images Tiger Woods: Michael Jordan

I'm not going to act like this is perfect. MJ was in his prime on the Dream Team. Tiger certainly isn't right now. But he is still the draw. He's the main attraction. He's the guy the fans want to see and the player the rest of the team idolizes. That was the situation when Jordan went to Barcelona. Of course, like Jordan, Woods has sometimes rubbed his own U.S. teammates the wrong way due to his insane competitiveness. But at the end of the day, all Woods cares about is winning and he's going to play every Ryder Cup hole like it's Sunday at Augusta. Also, these guys have both built a brand off red Nikes.

Phil Mickelson: Larry Bird

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images - Matthew Stockman/Allsport Phil Mickelson: Larry Bird

For so long, Lefty was the darling of galleries around the world. At age 48, he should be done, but somehow, Mickelson did enough in 2018 to earn himself a captain's pick, highlighted by his March win at the WGC-Mexico Championship, his first PGA Tour win since the Open Championship in 2013. Bird actually retired right after the Olympics. Although Mickelson won't retire, he knows he can't carry the workload he did in his youth. But if Team USA needs a big play this weekend, Mickelson still thinks he can pull of the miraculous shots that won him five majors.

Bubba Watson: Magic Johnson

Andrew Redington/Getty Images - Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images Bubba Watson: Magic Johnson

I considered Tiger as Magic due to the timing of his career, but I kept him in MJ's spot for the aforementioned reasons. However, Bubba isn't a bad Magic. Watson, the third-oldest player on the Ryder Cup team at age 39, was cooking from mid-2010 to early 2016, winning nine times, including two Masters and reaching No. 2 in the world. Then, he hit a struggle bus that saw him drop to as low as No. 117 in the world at the beginning of this season. Now, Watson is experiencing a second wind, winning three times in 2018. At the time of the Dream Team, Johnson had actually sat out the 1991-92 season and his fitness for the Olympics was questioned. However, he started five games in the Olympics and averaged 8.0 points and 5.5 assists, showing he still had something left in the tank.

Dustin Johnson: Charles Barkley

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images - Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Dustin Johnson: Charles Barkley

In 1992, Barkley was at his peak. He had already made four All-NBA First Teams and he was a few months short of his lone NBA MVP campaign in 1992-93. Johnson has spent most of this season as the World No. 1 and on paper, is the best player on Team USA. Like Barkley, Johnson also has a sometimes unpredictable personality and draws attention to himself, for better or for worse.

Justin Thomas: Clyde Drexler

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images - Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images Justin Thomas: Clyde Drexler

Drexler was a machine. At the time of the 1992 Dream Team, he was coming off six straight seasons averaging at least 21.5 points per game. 6.3 rebounds and 5.8 assists. He had just made his first All-NBA First Team and led the Blazers to the NBA Finals. While Johnson has been World No. 1 most of this season, Thomas briefly reached the top and many golf fans would say he has been the more consistent player the last two years. The Dream Team was important for Drexler, who averaged 10.5 points in the Olympics, to show he belonged in the conversation with the big boys. This is Thomas' first Ryder Cup and he's ready to prove he's at the top of the rosters of both teams.

Jordan Spieth: John Stockton

Andrew Redington/Getty Images - Todd Warshaw/Getty Images Jordan Spieth: John Stockton

Spieth should be the Michael Jordan on this list, but his 2018 was just too poor to put him here. He has three majors under his belt, built up his own brand with Under Armour and is the most popular player not named Woods or Mickelson, but he didn't even win a tournament in 2018. However, he does fit Stockton in this case. Spieth is one of the smaller players on tour and in an era defined by length, he's found a way to compete with precision. Spieth will be an energizer in Paris and he's always been a great teammate representing Team USA.

Patrick Reed: Karl Malone

Christian Petersen/Getty Images - Andy Lyons/Getty Images Patrick Reed: Karl Malone

Naturally, Reed, Spieth's usual teammate (although at least not for Friday morning) is the Karl Malone in this case. A brash individual, it's been well-documented Reed isn't on the PGA Tour to make friends. However, his talent is undeniable and he's shown his ceiling is incredibly high. Reed's 2016 Ryder Cup duel with Rory McIlroy and his 2018 Masters win proved he could dominate and close. Malone could own the post and won two MVPs, showing he was more than a Hall of Famer, but an NBA legend.

Brooks Koepka: Chris Mullin

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images - Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for USOC Brooks Koepka: Chris Mullin

Koepka is sneaky good, as shown by his three majors in the last two seasons -- his only PGA Tour wins in that time frame (his one other PGA Tour win was the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2015). Mullin, who was coming off his only All-NBA First Team season in 1991-92 was also sneaky good. Although not the most recognizable face on the Dream Team, Mullin averaged 12.9 points per game at the Olympics, behind only Barkley, Jordan and Malone. Koepka will probably win PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2018 and casual fans still don't really know who he is.

Rickie Fowler: Scottie Pippen

Andrew Redington/Getty Images - Jonathan Daniel/Allsport Rickie Fowler: Scottie Pippen

Fowler is one of the most fun personalities on the PGA Tour and a guy everyone seems to like. But he still hasn't won a major. Maybe he can do it on his own, maybe he can't. It doesn't matter this week. He'll make a great teammate in Paris, and at this point, he's been a relevant player in the world for almost a decade. He's always right there on the 18th hole when Jordan Spieth or Justin Thomas wins a major.

Bryson DeChambeau: Christian Laettner

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images - Mike Lawrie/Getty Images Bryson DeChambeau: Christian Laettner

This is too easy. DeChambeau and Laettner are both wild cards. DeChambeau uses a compass to help with putts when permitted (apparently never) and cuts his clubs in an incredibly unique manner. He also wears a driver hat and his stance looks incredibly uncomfortable. Laettner snowboards, makes some wild statements and was once suspended for marijuana use. Both players have intense haters. But in terms of Laettner in 1992 and DeChambeau now, there is a lot of raw talent.

Tony Finau: Patrick Ewing

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images - Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images Tony Finau: Patrick Ewing

Finau was all about talent and consistency in 2018, a staple of Ewing's NBA career. Ewing could never quite get to the top to win championships and MVPs, but his longevity and durability was incredible. No one is expecting Finau to go shoot a 59 on Sunday, but they know he will put Team USA in a position to compete for a point every time he tees it up.

Webb Simpson: David Robinson

Harry How/Getty Images Webb Simpson: David Robinson

No, Simpson didn't serve in the Navy, but you get the sense he has that nice guy, straight-laced vibe that Robinson brought to the NBA. He is regimented and like Finau, will be consistent. He might not be the guy you want carrying your squad, but he is a guy who will keep hitting fairways and greens in regulation. That's big for team golf. Someone can be his Tim Duncan.


I guess this makes Xander Schauffele the Isiah Thomas of the group. Or Shaquille O'Neal.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.