After the humiliation experienced four years earlier, the American basketball team pulled out all the stops at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, bringing together the best NBA players. A fascinating epic told in the documentary “The Redeem Team”.
Back to the top. The documentary “The Redeem Team”, available from October 7 on Netflix, will follow the story of the American basketball team – nicknamed Team USA – in the aftermath of their historic defeat in the semi-finals of the Olympic Games in Athens in 2004. And the work done over four years to secure the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
The lack of a program
If the 1992 Dream Team in Barcelona, with Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson in particular, had largely flown over the competition, the international level progressed a lot in the following years. And some national teams, such as Argentina, Lithuania or Spain, have gradually managed to close the gap in terms of talent.
Above all, the continuity enjoyed by these teams – whose hard core of players is often the same over the years – ended up being a certain advantage over Team USA which, for its part, was content to bring together a group of players from of the NBA a few weeks before the international competitions.
The first alarm for Team USA was heard during the 2002 world championships in Indianapolis, where the American team finished in a pitiful 6th place. Two years later, the Athens Olympics saw a Team USA led by Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, or the trio LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carrmelo Anthony – who had just finished their rookie season – be defeated by the Argentina in the semi-finals, and finish in 3rd place on the podium. An unacceptable bronze medal for the American federation.
Building a group
The preparation of Team USA for the Beijing Olympics in 2008 has therefore become a major objective. From now on, the American national team would put all the chances on its side by creating a group of players ahead of the competition, under the orders of the legendary coach of Duke University, Mike Krzyzewski (who was also one of the assistants of Chuck Daly in 1992).
Having become undisputed stars of the NBA in the meantime, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony were thirsty for revenge. Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer, Jason Kidd, Michael Redd, Tyson Chandler, Chris Bosh and Tayshaun Prince completed the squad. But also, and above all, Kobe Bryant, the star of the Los Angeles Lakers known for his demands on his teammates and his rage to win.
It is this story that director Jon Weinbach – who was behind the documentary series “The Last Dance” – tells in “The Redeem Team”, the name given to this revanchist team which will succeed, not without difficulty, in raising Team USA at the top of the basketball world.