While making an appearance on ESPN’s show DangerTalk, Dwyane Wade reminisced about some of the most memorable moments from his HOF career. Even though he is a 3-time NBA champion, one of his fondest memories is when he was apart of the 2008 ‘Redeem Team‘ in the Olympics in Bejing, China. After realizing the world is catching up to the US on the world’s biggest stage and the Bronze medal in Athens’s 2004 Olympics, the US sent their most prominent stars to China. Wade remembers how special it was to play with so many great players on one team and how everyone left their ego at the door because that was something Coach K insisted on if they were going to be successful.
One of the most remarkable things Wade will forever cherish is sharing the locker room with the late great Kobe Bryant, who was so locked, especially on defense. That inspired Wade because Kobe told coach K he would defend the best players on opposing teams, putting offense and scoring in the second place. Kobe also knew Wade was a great defender, so every time they were on defense, Kobe would chase opposing players, which enabled Wade to trap and therefore steal the ball.
I was coming off the bench, and Kobe came to me and said he’s going to pick up his defender 94 feet and harras him, I will turn him. Once I get them to half court, I want you to shot at him and come for a trap and get a steal. Kobe’s mindset was different because all he cared about was defense. When he knew me and him are going to play together, he didn’t care about the offense. He knew we are two dogs on both ends, and defensively we are going to be dogs.Dwyane Wade, via ESPN
One of Wade’s most surprising things was Kobe’s mindset in which he didn’t care about scoring the ball but completely focused on defense. He set the tone early for the entire team, left his ego before the training camp started, and everybody followed his lead. Even though Wade accomplished a lot of things in his career, he will remember that Olympics as one of his favorite moments.
To be able to play with a guy who had everything offensively, who could have just demanded we give him the ball every time down, was worried about defense in the Olympics. Come on, bro, what am I going to do but follow suit. That was one of my favorite things when he came to me and said. I didn’t care about starting anymore because I cared about my moments when I got the chance of getting on the court with Kobe, because I knew what was going down. It was special.Dwyane Wade, via ESPN
Even though the original ‘Dream Team’ is probably the most popular basketball team ever assembled, the Redeem Team was filled with future HOF and a great team in its own right. Wade also talked about the privilege of learning from other great players on the team and how they get themselves prepared. It was an environment in which you can grow us a player, but also represent your country on the largest stage in front of the entire world.