“He Would be Able to Talk to Everyone in Their Own Language”: Dwyane Wade Recalls Kobe Bryant from 2008 Olympics

Published 06/05/2020, 3:50 PM EDT


Team USA entered the 2008 Olympics carrying the loss of the 2004 games on their shoulders. They were labeled the ‘Redeem Team,’ after their poor outing at Athens. Captained by Kobe Bryant, the star-studded lineup entered the Olympics with just one objective on their mind, which was to win gold and nothing less.

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This talented squad was being compared to the 1992 ‘Dream Team,’ led by  Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant and the team went into the Olympics carrying the hopes of millions behind their back. They had to come out on top. There was no other result that could please them.

The entire 12-man squad comprised of skilled players and promising athletes from the NBA. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James boosted the scoring aspect of the team. USA remained undefeated in their preliminary group and dominated the knockout stages to set up a finals clash against Spain. 

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Dwyane Wade recently joined ‘The Platform Basketball Podcast,’ and mentioned that the works for a ‘Redeem Team’ documentary is in the progress. He reminisced about their glory days in Beijing and specifically detailed on Kobe Bryant and his impact on wherever they went. 

Wade experienced the worldwide fandom that Kobe Bryant possessed

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China played host to the 2008 Olympics games. A different country and a different continent. Nevertheless, Kobe Bryant had his fans wherever he went. Distance doesn’t limit the mamba from being around his supporters.

Wade shared his experience regarding how he saw Kobe being followed and cheered by different people from other countries. “Whenever we went anywhere, it was just a crowd of people. He would be able to talk to everyone in their own language man, and to me, it was the dopest thing to just sit back and watch the experience.”

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Kobe had it all. He had the talent, he had the fans and he even had various dialects stored in his mind. The mamba mastered it all. To develop a fan base in several countries, you really need to be good. Being an international star gives you a lot of exposure, but subsequently the criticism starts flying in from every part of the world.

However, Bryant was never fazed by any of it. He knew his roles and responsibilities being the captain of his team. Consequently, the USA beat Spain comfortably in the Gold medal game and achieved their destiny, shutting the mouths of their adversaries. 

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Arjun Athreya

2162 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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