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Netflix shoots and scores with The Redeem Team Movie

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In 2022, Netflix released The Redeem Team, on the failure (and eventual success) of the USA olympic basketball team. The film details the triumphant 2008 olympic basketball team, which included Dwayne Wade, Karl Boozer, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd and more, with rare footage of team practices and interviews with former NBA superstars. Before obtaining the gold medal in Beijing, China, the USA team had to endure 8 years of constant disappointing losses. Every team they faced played unselfish and fast-paced basketball because of exceptional team chemistry; exactly what team USA lacked. 

Former Duke University basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, even inferred that assembling a “fantasy” team is pointless, as you can’t expect a team of NBA stars to work well in one consistent unit. Coach K went as far as studying the differences between NBA basketball rules and olympic basketball rules. Games were significantly shorter, the 3-point line was closer, and a few defensive and offensive rules were different. 

The addition of documented video demonstrates the day-to-day lives of all the players and how they influence each other throughout practice. There’s a segment in the documentary that emphasizes Kobe Bryant’s intense work ethic, which ended up changing the team’s routine. Kobe Bryant would wake up at 4:00 AM to exercise in the hotel gym before practice, inspiring his teammates to join him early in the morning to work out. From the perspective of an NBA fan, the documentary is a nostalgic and endearing reminder of the past. 

Watching star players in their prime playing together as a collective is exciting. There are brief homages to the 1992 men’s olympic basketball team and how it ultimately set the standard for USA basketball. If you like basketball in general and want to learn more about the spirit of the game, look no further than The Redeem Team’s redemption in 2008.

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Noah Maradiaga, Staff Writer
Noah Maradiaga is a sophomore at Hart High School. He is a staff writer for The Smoke Signal. Many of his interests are the same as last year. He still has a strange obsession with primates, music and cats. During his free time he enjoys drawing and playing basketball and video games.
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