Team USA fell from glory in 2004, getting knocked out by Argentina in the semifinals before settling for bronze. The squad was re-invigorated across the board for the 2008 games in Beijing, with Coach K taking the reins and a overhauled roster looking to reclaim glory.
A team with Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard and Chris Paul — to name a few — should have steamrolled the competition, and it did. They won by an average of 17.3 points through tournament play, crushing the Olympics and bringing back gold for USA. Falling down a YouTube tunnel on that run is a pretty good way to get hyped for the games starting up Saturday, and considering that Kobe guy was such an integral part of the comeback, why not reminisce on what’s arguably one of the most underrated aspects of the Mamba’s career.
Listening to Kobe talk about the experience and final game is a good starting point:
If you’re looking for the highlights version of the clinching game from Kobe, here ya’ go:
And if you’re looking for one of my favorite clips of Olympic Kobe, here’s that:
Let’s see what the new crew can do.
(Bonus: Have 29 minutes to burn? Have at it):