The Redeem Team’s modern history of America in the world

The character of American life in 2008 is Barack Obama, the one we’ve been waiting for, the hinge of the moment, the baseball fan who taught America to say “yes” at the end of evil, Stupid of ten years of “no.” However, the world was so different just 15 years ago that it did not feel strange that Obama did not speak and did not appear on the screen. Redemption teamthe exciting new Netflix documentary about the United States’ comeback from its great medal in men’s basketball in Beijing that year.

There’s a lot of emotional-political baggage one filmmaker can top the Mike Krzyzewski-coached win. An American Larry Brown-led team led by Allen Iverson and Tim Duncan limped to the bronze medal in Athens in 2004, a national embarrassment that occurred at the nadir of the Bush administration’s Iraq debacle. War and basketball are two things that Americans consider themselves to be the undisputed world leader, but the Argentine team and the group of jihadist lunatics have caused it the absurdity of loving the myth of American superiority. Communist China, the host of the 2008 Summer Games, points the way into the world like the Americans are falling fast – and also Obama, and maybe also Team USA alpha dog Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, showing that failure is inevitable, that America is still strong enough to improve from its failures.

Director Jon Weinbach is not involved with any of those things, at least not directly. The breadth of the story it tells is evident from the film’s tight focus on basketball. The movie never came out and said it, but the 1992 Dream Team, the first American Olympic team to include NBA players, helped open the door to the later history of American hegemony, the era that we have full control over the world. the glorious inevitability. Maybe that feeling isn’t healthy, one talking head suggests. “We’ve come to think that because we’re American, we’re better,” said reporter Sam Smith, pointing to NBA stars in red, white, and blue taking to the field. fewer countries in the world throughout the 1990s. But that thought is true – yes that’s right. Right? If it weren’t for some unfortunate connection between America and basketball, the 2008 team wouldn’t have redeemed much. However, as Smith noted, “The Dream Team is not about love. They never made it to America. They did it for the NBA ” – for the money, basically. The movie keeps politics to a minimum, but it still becomes a story about how we The purpose of the country can be clearer, smarter, and less critical in times when we lose.

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In showing how the American people became victorious again, Redemption team becomes an unexpectedly intimate dual portrait of perhaps the two leading basketball titans of the 21st century. One of them, Mike Krzyzewski, taught his last game earlier this year. Another, Kobe Bryant, died with his young daughter in a helicopter crash in January 2020, a situation that many millennials have experienced from the “Day of the Dead” -kind of a reality-bender, the perfect ending to perhaps the last delusions of youth. The movie shows the height of the time that has recently been decided too.

After the Athens disaster, USA Football was put under the one-man control of former Phoenix Suns owner Jerry Colangelo, who made the equally dangerous decision of choosing a coach in college to lead a team of NBA stars. At no time did Duke University captain Krzyzewski, a middle-aged West Point graduate and then-winner of our national championship, seem a little overmatched by Dwyane, LeBron, Kobe, or others name multimillionaires according to its value. In team discussions, Coach K is unassuming, even a little monotone — he’s “a coach from the Army,” as sportscaster Bill Plaschke describes him.

In the name of the final victory, Krzyzewski persuades a collection of showboats with sports shoe names after they accept the pick-and-roll style of the international game. It advocates a tennis game that can double as a reflection of America itself. Don’t limit your own NBA-sized egos, he said during a team meeting. “You have to give me the egos you have… and put them under an ego umbrella.” “That makes sense!” Dwyane Wade exclaims, remembering the moment 15 years later. As for the connection between the mental state of American sports and our deep emotions, Coach K has the team learn about “self-help” from a recent military episode. back from Iraq, along with military personnel who have two eyes out. from enemy shrapnel. “Hearing these stories, our players let their hearts open, and because of that, they became the United States,” Krzyzewski always remembers.

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In Redemption team. In contrast to Coach K, Kobe’s best is in the sublime. In the movie, he remembers that he was a terrible person, a god mocking the people of the world – “the dead,” in this case, are Pau Gasol, Dwyane Wade, and even LeBron James – from the end of all existence, a place. where only he participates. Kobe is a friend without friends, one who “likes” to be alone, according to Carmelo Anthony. Mere superstars look confused with him: One night, during the Las Vegas training camp, the whole team came back from a night of clubbing at 5:30 in the morning to find Kobe in their the hotel lobby, sweating from one. morning workout. At the end of the week, the clubbing stopped, and the whole team was at Laker’s timekeeper.

It would be remiss to list every single best Kobe anecdote in this movie. We’ve got all the background on the bad body he put on Lakers teammate Gasol during the opening minutes of the Olympic round-robin against Spain, the still-stunning act of a truly pathological winner. The “pathological victory” is an American benefit is one of these films is not mentioned. Oddly enough, this obsession with success is part of the reason why Americans sometimes love foreign countries. The document describes how in Beijing, Chinese citizens treated Kobe as if he were Michael Jackson or Princess Diana, as thousands of screaming and fainting admirers followed him through the Chinese capital.

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At that time, the large number of people who attended the Team USA bus seemed to prove again that the Chinese people are in the way of the freedom of the American culture. In retrospect, the dynamic is almost the opposite – LeBron James, now the American leader who apologizes for Beijing’s injustice, should have seen Kobemania first. of his own business vision in the sport-crazy liberal democracy. (One of the ironies in this film is that there is no mention of America’s opposition to the host nation, China, in the pre-Olympic competition, which, at the time, believed to have the largest television audience of any sports event in history. LeBron James is one of the show’s executive producers, incidentally.)

Redemption team It’s a pleasure to look back on the victory in the country, but even the history of the sport has become bitter at times – and at times less than one would have hoped. or need. The video ends with Dwyane and Kobe icing a series of outlandishly angled long jump shots against a late Spanish comeback in the gold medal game. Every baseball fan knows that happens. Do they remember the time when it looked like the NBA would have a bigger impact on China than China would have on the NBA? For that matter, do they remember that Carmelo Anthony met the kid as a high school student back in 2004, and even in 2008? Redemption team is a record of a gold medal won in a near-long world – and for many viewers, it will be uncomfortable to prove that we are not young anymore.

Armin Rosen is a New York-based reporter at Big Six Tablet.


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