They put together a top documentary, with the words of all the stars, to tell how they resurfaced from those two knockout blows that Argentina gave basketball. So simple, so impressive.
Yes, Argentina, a country dominated by soccer, battered by its economic crises, with high levels of poverty, which does not have the ideal biotype for the basketball player, without the black race or the Balkan ethnic group, the dominant ones in this sport. That it has not had, for decades, a sports policy that crosses governments, that with few exceptions it has not allocated consistent state support to clubs, that it has not been able to articulate sport and education, and has not built high-performance centers so that train athletes.
We could continue like this, but we better stop because, suddenly, these days, our basketball team is in the middle of an audiovisual production that the world sports empire, the king of basketball since his birth, did and announced, with great fanfare, to tell of his redemption… From what? Of those blows that the Argentine team caused them. Not only, of course, nobility obliges. International basketball taught him a lesson, but with our national team at the head, dealing the hardest blows, the ones that made him kiss the canvas like no other. That of the 2002 Indianapolis World Cup, which cut an undefeated streak of 58 games since the NBA began to play, in 1992. And that of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, in an Olympic semifinal, no less, which made it clear, to everyone’s eyes, that they had to activate Operative Rebirth.
So, before telling how the Redeem Team (Equipment of the Redemption or Redeemer, as it incredibly appears in Netflix), we had to tell why.
“You realized that they had been playing together for years…”
“They were brothers…”
“They had chemistry…”
“They played as a team…”
“They played basketball the way it should be played…”.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Mike Krzyzewski summed it up in these five sentences. That’s how they explained what happened in Athens 2004, because the World Cup, in order not to give so much credit to a country without so much tradition, they ignored it. And there was a phrase, hard and forceful, of pepe sanchez, the brain of our Golden Generation, which they included for context. “Yes, they are the best. Individually. But this is a team sport, you don’t play 1 vs 1. It’s not tennis”, told them who at that time played little or nothing in the NBA, but who managed the match times, both in 2002 and 2004. It was post tsunami, when what seemed like an untouchable empire was on its knees. “It was ugly to see. And it’s ugly to be part of that,” Wade accepted when the documentary’s images were of a handful of heroes jumping, hugging each other, in the middle of the pitch at the Greek stadium.
That day began a new era in world basketball… And the urgent need for reconstruction that the USA had was evident. Going back to the sources, taking a bath of humility and commitment, recovering passion, understanding that not only were they going to win with talent, that the FIBA game was different from the NBA, that they were going to need everyone and that they were not going to be able to keep looking down on the rest of the world.
They did it. She cost them but they did it. Little by little, with the arrival of Coach K. the ideal for the position. A very prestigious DT, but who was not in the NBA. The great coach of Duke University, perhaps the most hated and prestigious in the NCAA. Highly respected by all, although regarded with suspicion by some. Like LeBron, who admitted that he hated him. “To him, to Duke, to JJ Redick, to the mascot, to everyone,” he admitted in the documentary, although he never questioned his choice or his decisions. The coach, a wise man, with a lot of experience, went to the bone, told them everything he had to say to the NBA stars… It touched their pride, it motivated them, He briefed them and told them the plan, which included commitment and humility. The vast majority bought, but it was not from one day to the next. In the first big tournament, the 2006 World Cup, they ate another palazo. This time, in the semifinal it was Greece that made it clear to them what Coach K had marked them. “The world reached us, we must learn to play in FIBA and know that it will not reach us with individual talent. The team is first.” The new blow served to touch the pride of those who were not there, like Kobe Bryant, the other great protagonist of the documentary.
“I’m tired of seeing them lose,” Kobe threw at them, without anesthesia. Carmelo tells it and laughs, making it clear how crude Bryant was. Another that everyone looked at with suspicion. So competitive in the NBA, the Lakers star had an agenda with just about everyone. But, true to form, he bought them with facts. “The first day of camp I wanted to show myself as a young leader and I set my alarm clock very early to be the first to go down to breakfast. I did and when I got there, I saw Kobe. All sweaty. He was not only up, he had already had breakfast and trained. That was how he was, and that was the way he established the commitment, the way that group worked”, he admitted. Little by little, each day, others got up earlier and ended up working alongside the best of all.
Kobe also set an example on the court. Knowing the importance of defense and effort, he asked Coach K to mark the opponent’s best perimeter attacker in each game. And then, in each training session, he laid the groundwork with his teammates. In an image of a practice, in Las Vegas, it is seen how he touches the ball six times to an opponent, without letting him move a meter. He is also seen falling to the ground. So It changed the work culture, the mentality. Behind his leadership they all lined up. That’s why It is no coincidence that, in four years, the USA has not lost a game with Kobe. His mark was 36-0, thanks to a record of 16-0 in the Olympic Games, 10 in FIBA Americas tournaments and 10-0 in friendlies.
Bryant always knew, Coach K admitted, that the rival to beat was Argentina. “We are going to have to go through them and for that we must stop Ginobili. I want to do it”, he told the coach. Argentina had impacted them not only because of the game but also because of the group union, because of the chemistry they saw. That’s why they needed everyone to be on the same page. Kryzewski used Manu, precisely, as extra motivation. Carmelo says that he first showed them a video of the best plays of the Bahiense in the NBA. “That’s enough, stop it,” Anthony asked. Then, for each player, the coach left newspaper clippings about Manu. “He left me one that said that Manu was the second best shooting guard in the world. I can accept Kobe, but not Manu,” Wade said with a laugh. And Melo remembered when Bryant saw his. “He said that Ginobili was the best shooting guard in the world. In an instant I saw how he went from Kobe Bryant to becoming the Black Mamba,” he detailed. They also recalled a phrase from Kobe before the game. “I’ll take care of this, this shit ends today”, speaking of the paternity of Argentina and Manu over the United States.
The document records how, from the beginning, the USA dominated, although without stating that Manu was injured -seriously in his left ankle- quickly -after six minutes- and that the great difference (30-11) was made without him. Then there was an Argentine reaction, in the second quarter, although the second half was all for the NBA to end up winning by 20 and reaching the final in which Spain, the other great team of the moment, would await them. The definition was a great match and the victory was for the United States. The mission had been completed. The NBA had regained the throne. Although before, of course, they had had to learn a lesson. That’s what the Redeem Team is all about. He tells you epic, well Yankee. Not bad. Because Argentina and the rest of the world had brought them to their knees.
A documentary to enjoy and become aware of the magic that the Golden Generation achieved, the best team that Argentine sport has given.
Manu, the enormous appreciation and respect they had for him in the USA team, and how his presence was the extra motivation they needed, especially Kobe, to take revenge on Argentina. Ginóbili and his impressive role in the documentary #RedeemTeam
You don’t really need more tests to know how great Ginobili was, but a new one always makes him a little bigger, especially when it comes from the best…
Because, when from Argentina it is said that between 2004 and 2008, the Bahiense could be the best shooting guard in the world, they look at you strangely, as if it were crazy…
But this time those who put it on the table are the same NBA stars in the documentary.