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LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 23:  Kobe Bryant #24 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts in the fourth quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2008 NBA Playoffs at Staples Center on April 23, 2008 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Nuggets 122-107. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2008 Lisa Blumenfeld  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Redeem Team Moments That Make Us Miss Kobe Bryant Even More
History - Science
Kobe Bryant died in 2020 alongside his daughter and seven others in a helicopter wreck in Southern California. The Netflix documentary “Redeem Team,” which tells the story of the gold-winning U.S. men's basketball team at the 2008 Olympic Games, has plenty of moments that could make basketball fans miss Bryant even more.
The U.S. men's Olympic basketball team entered a training camp in Las Vegas to prepare for the competition, and while other players would hit the Vegas Strip in their off hours, Bryant stayed behind to log extra time working out. According to "Redeem Team" director Jon Weinbach, "[T]he model he set was the work ethic. It's encapsulated in the story of him being up at 4:35 in the morning and working out as these guys were coming back from the club.
During the Olympic Games, the Spanish team was expected by many to be the U.S. team's closest competition for gold, thanks in part to Pau Gasol, who played alongside Bryant on the Lakers. As "Redeem Team" explains, in one early play, Bryant ran right through Gasol's chest, knocking the more than 7-foot-tall center to the ground.
With that hard foul, Bryant seemed to say that though he and Gasol were teammates and friends off the court, at the Olympics, things were different, and the contact was intentional. Bryant announced to his team in the locker room he planned to do it, as Bryant's Olympic teammates LeBron James and Dwayne Wade reveal in the Netflix documentary.