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.
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