In the latest of The Dream Team Tapes: Kobe, LeBron & The Redeem Team we hear about the chaotic days leading up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
This week hosts, Jack McCallum and J.A. Adande share details in the team’s final moments of prep before the event. The episode features Coach K, Jason Kidd and Jerry Colangelo as they reflect on the team’s opening game vs. China, and an important meeting that took place between Kobe Bryant and Coach K, regarding his questionable shot selection.
Jason Kidd looks back on the time the team bus left Kobe behind for a night out in Macau but decided to turn back and get him, he says: “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…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.”
On experiencing Kobe’s preference to taking extremely difficult shots during games and practices, Jason says: “Kobe would take some crazy shots. 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 offence to it at first, but I was really actually trying to help him make the game easier.”
Coach K talks about Kobe’s reaction to the meeting about his meeting about shot selection and Sean Ford and Jerry Colangelo discuss how the team was surprised by Kobe’s insane popularity in China and the initial reaction he received upon the team’s arrival.
Jerry Colangelo also tells a story about discovering Henry Kissenger asleep during team USA’s opening game against China!
You can also check out the full episode from Diversion Podcasts HERE.