Redeem Team
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Dwyane Wade: Redeem Team 2008 Olympic documentary in the works

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Dwyane Wade said he’s executive producing a documentary on the Redeem Team, the 2008 U.S. Olympic basketball squad that took gold in Beijing.

“It’s something that we’ve been working on for the last year or so,” Wade said on the Platform Basketball podcast published last week. “For me, that was a big year, 2008. I had to kind of redeem myself, because everybody thought I was done.

“But that was an amazing time, man, and, like, that team, dog? Oh my gosh. That team was special.”

Previously, ESPN aired a five-part documentary series leading up to the 2008 Beijing Games.

The team was three years in the making.

In 2005, USA Basketball, led by new managing director Jerry Colangelo and new coach Mike Krzyzewski, laid out a long-term commitment to be a member of the 2008 Olympic team.

Some players were eager to restore U.S. pride. Americans finished sixth, third and third at 2002 Worlds, 2004 Olympics and 2006 Worlds. Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul each said they valued a gold medal over an NBA title.

Since the Dream Team in 1992, more and more NBA superstars were passing on Olympic participation, some citing a need for rest after a long NBA season. Beijing stopped that bleeding. Bryant played at his first Olympics. James, Wade and Chris Bosh hatched a friendship that led to their Miami Heat gathering.

The team ran undefeated to a gold-medal game against Spain, with a prime Pau Gasol and a 17-year-old Ricky Rubio. La Roja drew to 104-99 with 3:32 left before Bryant drilled a three and drew Rudy Fernandez‘s fifth and final foul. Spain cut it to 108-104 with 2:25 to go. Then Wade hit his fourth three-pointer of the game, and the Americans finished it off 118-107.

As Wade mentioned, that triumph was personally meaningful. After winning the 2006 NBA title, he missed 31 games the next season, including during one game being wheeled off in a chair with a dislocated shoulder. His Heat were swept out of the first round of the playoffs.

Wade underwent shoulder and knee surgeries in the 2007 offseason. In 2007-08, the Heat had the worst record in the league.

But at the Olympics, Wade led the Redeem Team in scoring. The Heat were back in the playoffs in 2008-09. James and Bosh joined for the following season, and they won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

MORE: LeBron James’ status for Tokyo Olympics unclear

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Serena Williams, reclusive amid pandemic, returns to tennis eyeing Grand Slam record

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Serena Williams travels with “like 50 masks” and has been a little bit of a recluse since early March and the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I don’t have full lung capacity, so I’m not sure what would happen to me,” Williams said Saturday, two days before the start of the WTA’s Top Seed Open in Lexington, Ky., her first tournament since playing Fed Cup in early February. “I’m sure I’ll be OK, but I don’t want to find out.”

Williams, 38, has a history of blood clots and pulmonary embolisms. She faced life-threatening complications following her Sept. 1, 2017, childbirth that confined her to a bed for six weeks. She said her daily routine was surgery and that she lost count after the first four.

More recently, Williams enjoyed “every part” of the last six months at home in Florida, her longest time grounded since her teens.

“I’ve been a little neurotic, to an extent,” on health and safety, she said. “Everyone in the Serena bubble is really protected.”

Williams is entered to play next week in Lexington and at consecutive tournaments in New York City later this month — the Western & Southern Open and U.S. Open, the latter starting Aug. 31.

Williams is the highest-ranked player in the Lexington field at No. 9. Others include 2017 U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens, older sister Venus Williams and 16-year-old Coco Gauff.

She has been bidding ever since having daughter Olympia to tie Margaret Court‘s record 24 Grand Slam singles titles, albeit many of Court’s crowns came before the Open Era and, notably at the Australian Open, against small fields lacking the world’s best players. Williams reached the last two Wimbledon and U.S. Open finals, losing all of them.

She showed her seriousness in committing early to this year’s U.S. Open by installing a court at home with the same surface. Three of the top 10 female singles players already said they will skip the U.S. Open due to travel and/or virus concerns, including No. 1 Ash Barty.

“Tennis is naturally a socially distanced sport, so it was kind of easy to go back and just walk on my side of the court and have my hitter walk on his side of the court,” Williams said.

The French Open starts two weeks after the U.S. Open ends. Williams was asked if she will fly to Europe for tournaments this autumn.

“I see myself doing it all, if it happens,” she said.

The Tokyo Olympics are too far away to make plans.

“We’ll have to kind of wait to see what happens in the fall,” she said. “One thing I have learned with this pandemic is don’t plan.”

MORE: Past U.S. Open champions get wild cards

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Conseslus Kipruto tests positive for coronavirus, canceling world-record bid

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Conseslus Kipruto, the Olympic and world 3000m steeplechase champion, tested positive for the coronavirus without symptoms, which will keep him from a world-record chase on Friday, according to his social media.

The Kenyan was to race in the first in-person Diamond League meet of the year in Monaco on Friday.

“Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities,” was posted. “Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League.

“I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well.”

Kipruto, 25, is the 14th-fastest steepler in history with a personal best of 8:00.12. The world record is 7:53.63, set by Kenyan-born Qatari Saif Saaeed Shaheen in 2004.

Last year, Kipruto won the world title by .01, extending a streak of a Kenyan or Kenyan-born man winning every Olympic or world title in the event since the 1988 Seoul Games. He was sidelined by a stress fracture in his left foot until opening his season extremely late on Aug. 24.

MORE: Trayvon Bromell’s road back through destruction, death

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Our World is going through a challenging period and we all have to take our responsibilities. Unfortunately my covid-19 test, as part of the Monaco-protocol, came back positive and therefore I can’t be part of the Monaco Diamond League on August 14th. I don’t have any symptoms and I was actually in great shape. I was planning to go for the WR: it has stayed too long outside Kenya. As the World & Olympic Champion I feel strongly its something I should go for as well. Wish to thank Monaco for all the work they have done and I wish them and my colleagues a wonderful competition. Athletics is back and I will be back as well. Anyone willing to organise a steeple once I can be cleared? @diamondleaguemonaco #nike #quarantine #WR #Kenya

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