The ’08 Team USA went to the Bejing Olympics as “the Redeem Team,” after two disappointing bronze medals in the ’04 Olympics and ’06 World Cup. After the shocking loss in ’04, the program recruited the banana boat crew to reclaim the gold – LeBron, Wade, Bosh, Melo, and CP3 were on the team. Despite all the praise, Gilbert Arenas called their loss against Greece.
Despite being on the 3rd All-NBA team. Gilbert Arenas was cut from the roster. To no surprise, Arenas had some thoughts about his dismissal and shared them publically. At the time, Arenas was starting a blog (a precursor to The Players’ Tribune) in partnership with Dave McMenamin. An NBA.com reporter would work with a team’s PR staff, conduct a brief telephone interview once a month or so and spin it into a first-person piece under the player’s name.
This was the outlet that brought us stories about Gilbert cutting up Blatche’s jersey so the name reads “Bitch” and putting poop into his shoe. McMenamin had to argue and explain to his editors that this is who Arenas is, and the kind of content fans are interested in. After building a good rapport, McMenamin talked to Arenas about not making the Team USA roster.
Gilbert said he would trade a year in the NBA for the chance to play just one game against Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski, who cut Arenas from the U.S. national team. He went a step further and predicted they wouldn’t win the Gold.
I ranted. I was a fuc**** rant. I said that the way he’s coaching they would not win gold. I remember saying that – the way he’s coaching, they would not win gold. He has all the shooters on the bench and all the drivers and slashers on one team.Gilbert Arenas, Fubo Sports
Gilbert Arenas, an all-time “I don’t give a fu**” guy, had second thoughts about that prediction. He knew it would cause problems even he doesn’t want to deal with. Arenas called McMenamin and asked him to remove the part about not winning gold out of the post.
I called you to say “Just take that out, I don’t want those problems.” and you just said “Yo, they lost. They lost to Greece”Gilbert Arenas, Fubo Sports
It was the semi-finals and Greece won 101 – 95. A team that was supposed to bring back glory to Team USA after the disappointing loss in the 04 Olympics failed to do so. It was obvious the young stars are still not good enough to win it all, so Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd joined the ’08 Team to provide leadership.
It turned out they needed to provide a lot more than that. Had it not been for Kobe in the Finals, Team USA would come back home with the Silver in ’08.