With ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary breaking records, news of two other potential documentaries have surfaced. Kobe Bryant had an all-access film crew documenting his final seasons in the league, which got NBA fans excited about a potential exclusive Kobe documentary. Nothing has been confirmed however.
The other potential documentary, reportedly in the works, focuses on the 2008 USA Olympic team, known as the “Redeem Team.”
An interesting component to the latter is that Dwayne Wade, a key player on that team, is producing the documentary and confirmed its been in the works for a year now. It will cover USA’s gold medal run at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, focusing on the top stars of the team including the Captain Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwayne Wade.
The Redeem Team was special for a number of reasons. First off, the amount of superstar talent that made up the roster, and they all have big personalities and opinions. While we have seen behind the scenes footage before, just seeing how these guys interacted with one another, and how they all looked up to Kobe to lead them, will be special.
The overall back story and ultimate triumph of the team winning the Gold medal after years of coming up short just adds a seriousness to what will likely be an upbeat documentary. The team had real pressure to redeem themselves, hence their nickname. The American’s finished sixth, third, and third in the 2002 Worlds, 2004 Olympics and 2006 Worlds. It was a true black mark for the once proud organization that dominated the 90’s and 2000 Olympic Games.
The 2008 Olympics wasn’t just a cake walk either. In the championship game, Spain kept things close in the final minutes. Spain was only down by 5 with 3:32 left on the clock, and then Kobe clutched up and put the game away. He made a four-point play, drawing the foul on Rudy Fernandez. This iced the gold medal for Team USA.
There are storylines that run deep on a smaller scale. Take Dwayne Wade himself. Wade had something to prove after missing 62 games in the two seasons leading up to the 2008 Olympics. His Heat team was eliminated in round 1 in 2007, and had the worst record in the league the following year. The Olympics were a way for Wade to get back in rhythm, and get back to those winning ways. Safe to say Wade made the most of his time in Beijing, leading the team in scoring and made crucial plays in the championship game.
Wade recently gave us a little inside scoop of some of the stories to be told in the coming documentary. This one in particular is about how Kobe owned every aspect of the trip.
That man was coldblooded. We’d get in a competition, and he would talk to other players in their language, and we don’t know what he’s saying. It was dope just even being around him. You’ve seen The Last Dance when everybody ran up on Jordan when he was in Paris? That’s how it was for Kobe in China. And you got some of the best players in the world on this team but it was Kobe. It was all about Kobe”
We all know Kobe’s global appeal, especially in China. But to be able to see the actual footage, video evidence of how much bigger he was while standing next to the names and talents of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, etc, would be fascinating. I remember back to the Dream Team documentary and I couldn’t believe how huge Jordan was, while guys like John Stockton were able to walk down the street like a normal tourist. It is those types of situations that get me excited for documentaries like this.
Also I need more of a back story of how the Redeem Team were eating fast food in a gas station, because I can’t imagine any athletes being able to do that anywhere in the world today.
Just to build some hype, here are some clips you can expect to see.