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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

‘The Redeem Team’ features friendship on- and off-court

The Redeem Team photo courtesy Nextflix
The Redeem Team photo courtesy Nextflix
The Redeem Team
photo courtesy Nextflix

managing editor

Netflix’s “The Redeem Team” sheds light on not only a great Olympic basketball team, but also a lifelong friendship.

“The Redeem Team,” was the U.S. Olympic basketball team for the 2008 Summer Olympics. They made history by winning the U.S. a gold medal and effectively breaking their losing streak.

The documentary follows the team as they suffer through their first couple losses and move towards a more cohesive future. Along with footage from the early 2000s, the documentary included confessional-like interviews of the players and coaches from present day reflecting on the experience. 

Some of the well-known faces seen in the documentary included Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Coach K and Carmelo Anthony. Seeing these legendary players reflect on a time when some of them were just rookies coming into the game, trying to learn how to play together gave such an interesting insight into what their internal process looked like at the time.

Many players on the redeem team were used to being considered the best of the best. But being thrown into a group of players and being expected to be a cohesive team in 2-weeks is unfeasible for even the greatest players.

In present-day, Lebron James is often spoken of as the best basketball player in the world so hearing about his rookie years and seeing his mental and physical development peeled back the layers and showed just how much work went into the journey.

However, one great player does not make a great team. 

For the rookies like James, Anthony and Wade being thrown into a group of veterans with the pressure of having to play as a cohesive team in two weeks was just a recipe for disaster. 

The main struggle seen through the documentary was how these individually amazing players were somehow unsuccessful at being able to play together on the court. In their first match-up with the Argentinian team, the flaws in teamwork can be seen plain as day. 

In the words of James, “they kicked our asses.”

The evolution of the team began slowly with the addition of some very key players. Beginning with the installment of the well-known and slightly controversial Coach Mike Krzyzewski and later on the legendary Lakers all-star Kobe Bryant.

With the new additions and a kick in the rear from Kobe’s work ethic, the team began to mesh and the rewards were more than worth the wait. 

The structure of the team’s evolution was done incredibly well, it allowed the audience to truly feel every emotion felt by the team. From the devastating losses to the long-awaited victories. Every aspect of the film was exceptionally well-thought-out.

One of the best examples of this can be seen in the way they presented Kobe Bryant’s part in the team. Since Bryant tragically passed in 2018 there obviously weren’t any confessionals from him but with the inclusion of different footage from the 90s and early 2000s the impact of his love for the game and admirable work ethic was felt in full force throughout the film.

The redeem team represented a lot for the U.S. in the 2000s, it was more than basketball. They represented an ideology of American greatness and the willingness to get back up after being pushed down.

This group of all-stars may have solidified their place in athletic history by winning a gold medal but they established their place in the hearts and minds of the American people by forming a brotherhood that spans past their lifespans.

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