The 2008 Redeem Team holds a special place in the hearts of most NBA fans. After several years of embarrassment at the international level, America finally decided to send its best and brightest to restore some semblance of dignity to USA Basketball.
This week, Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Jason Kidd and Jerry Colangelo joined Jack McCallum and J.A. Adande on the ‘Dream Team Tapes’ podcast to share some funny anecdotes about that particular team.
Namely, they recounted some great Kobe Bryant stories.
One standout involved Kidd recalling the time when the team bus left without Bryant.
“We were leaving the hotel to go to a party and we were waiting and unfortunately he [Kobe] wasn’t on time so we left,” he said.
“…And mid-way through the drive we got a call that we have to turn around and go get Kobe. LeBron was not happy about it but give LeBron credit, we did turn around and went to pick up Kobe and let Kobe know that you have to be on time or we’re leaving….but we came back to get you this one time.”
Kidd also delved into Bryant’s shot selection.
“Kobe would take some crazy shots,” he said.
“There was a point in practice where I asked if he could catch-and-shoot. And he looked at me like I was speaking a different language…Do you always have to dribble the ball to shoot. I think he took offense to it at first, but I was really actually trying to help him make the game easier.”
It even got to the point where Coach K held a meeting about the matter.
“We’re gonna win and in the first half, Kobe started taking Kobe Laker shot, which they had not been doing all game…and LeBron he looks at me and I know we got a real problem…I told him I will take care of this trust me,” Coach K said.
“So we were up all night as a staff trying to figure out how to handle this and I said give me his shots on a computer and i’ll have an individual meeting with Kobe. So I’m really apprehensive let’s put it this way about having this meeting but I gotta do it, I said I’d take care of it.”
LaMelo continuing to make a strong case for Rookie of the Year. https://t.co/hThv2JqlgN
— Game 7 (@game7__) April 4, 2021
While the process obviously involved some bumps in the road, the gold medal that team walked away with speaks for itself.
Fans continue to take Bryant’s memory very seriously, as made clear by the reaction that one man received when he tried yelling an insult about the Lakers legend. And while some like Philadelphia 76ers head coach Doc Rivers may not believe he should be the NBA logo, some sort of periodic remembrance of his contributions to the sport are very important to his supporters.
As such, it’s great that there is now a podcast dedicated to achieving that very thing.