“The Redeem Team,” a documentary on the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team, premieres Oct. 7, Netflix announced Friday.
The film is a Netflix and International Olympic Committee collaboration with executive producers including LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, two of the leaders on the team that took gold at the Beijing Games, four years after the U.S. dropped to bronze at the Athens Olympics.
In 2020, Wade said he was executive producing a film on the team that was coached by Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.
“It’s something that we’ve been working on for the last year or so,” Wade said then on the Platform Basketball podcast. “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.
In 2005, USA Basketball, led by new managing director Jerry Colangelo and new coach 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 the 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.
James and Bosh joined Wade on the Heat in 2010, and they won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.
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