International basketball has become extremely competitive over the years, as many countries have begun to assemble teams that can rival that of the United States of America, who has always been known to be the powerhouse in basketball when it comes to the Summer Olympics.
Winning gold in 1992 with the “Dream Team” led by the likes of Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, the United States also went on to win gold in 1996 and 2000. No other countries in the world could compete with the U.S. until the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
A team led by Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony could not get the job done and the United States ended up failing to make the gold medal game and they had to settle for the bronze medal that year, a major disappointment and let down for Team USA.
Four years later though was all about redemption for the United States Men’s Basketball Team and on this day in 2008, the “Redeem Team” highlighted by Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul, amongst other All-Stars, went on to defeat Spain in the gold medal match to put the U.S. back at the top of the podium worldwide in basketball.
Defeating Spain 118-107, the United States beat every single one of their opponents in the Olympics by double-digit points and they won all eight games played by an average of 27.9 points per game.
Not winning a tournament in a massive six year drought, this ended up being a huge victory for the United States Men’s Basketball program and since then, the U.S. has won gold medals at the Olympics in 2012, 2016 and 2020.
This win in 2008 for the “Redeem Team” meant more for U.S. Basketball than many tend to believe and it really put international competition back on the radar for our country.
Now, 24 years later, a documentary on the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team is set to premiere in October on Netflix.
Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, Dwight Howard, Deron Williams, Chris Bosh, Carlos Boozer, Tayshaun Prince and Michael Redd are the 12 men that delivered this gold medal to the United States of America in 2008, forever instilling the belief that the U.S. Men’s Basketball Team is the best in the world.
Brett Siegel joined Fastbreak on FanNation as a credentialed NBA journalist in April 2022 after previously covering the NBA for NBA Analysis Network and working with Louisville Basketball, aiding in daily operations, scouting and recruiting. From playing to coaching to covering the game as a media member, Brett has been involved with the game of basketball from many different perspectives. Breaking the news of All-Star Andre Drummond signing with the Lakers in 2021, yearly NBA Draft news and other key stories around the league, Brett is always on the phone, getting the latest news and rumors around the NBA. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @BrettSiegelNBA.