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March 2, 2021 56 min

After a memorable 2003 NBA draft that included four eventual iconic champions that would enrich the 2008 Redeem Team including LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, three of these young stars are thrust into the spotlight at the 2004 Olympics. The experience is anything but golden and the U.S. Olympic program arrives at a crossroads. On this episode you'll hear from Dwyane Wade (Redeem Teamer, 3-time NBA champion with the Miami Heat, 13-time NBA All-Star), Carmelo Anthony (Redeem Teamer, 10-time NBA All-Star and current Portland Trail Blazer), Deron Williams (NBA champion, former Utah Jazz point guard, and Redeem Team member), Grant Wahl (Former senior writer for Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports correspondent, host of podcasts including "Fútbol with Grant Wahl" and "American Prodigy: Freddy Ad‪u"), Craig Miller (USA Basketball's Chief Communications Officer extraordinaire, headed PR for the 1992 Dream Team and the 2008 USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team), and Sean Ford (USA Basketball's National Team Director).

FROM THE EPISODE:

JACK MCCALLUM: Ladies and gentlemen, Darko Miličić went 2nd to the Detroit Pistons before Carmelo Anthony, who was 3rd before Chris Bosh, who was 4th. And before Dwyane Wade who was 5th. So that is fully, as we said before, that is 1/3 of the kids who five years later would be on The Redeem team. But that draft interestingly gave us those guys. I think that's probably ranked among the greatest drafts of all time. Do you have any memories of other great drafts?

J.A. ADANDE: It’s right up there. To me, I think the standard has to be the 1984 draft. If nothing else it gave us Michael Jordan, but also Hakeem Olajuwon, Charles Barkley, John Stockton's in there as well. So if you think about stocking Olympic teams, you've got Barkley, Jordan, and John Stockton. So there's a third of the 1992 Dream Team comes out of that one draft, similar to the way that the 2003 draft stocked the Redeem Team of 2008.

JACK MCCALLUM: Yeah. Another great draft was your guy: Kobe Bryant in 1996. You got Kobe, you got Ray Allen, you got Steve Nash. You got —

J.A. ADANDE: Allen Iverson at the top of that —

JACK MCCALLUM: AI was right there, Peja Stojaković, Marcus Camby, Stephon Marbury, a bunch of guys… Derek Fisher, who watched for a hundred years 

J.A. ADANDE: Won five championships with Kobe.

JACK MCCALLUM: …making jump shots out in LA. But 1996 was a great NBA draft. What's to me is why — I don't remember, maybe because nobody gives too much of a damn about Cleveland, but was there ever an examination of how LeBron James got to Cleveland? You remember Patrick Ewing and the New York conspiracy? Good ol’ LeBron only had about a 22% chance of going to a Cleveland, but nevertheless, there he was. I don't think there has ever been one athlete — correct me if I'm wrong — who has ever brought more of a renaissance to one city. When Michael Jordan went to Chicago, Chicago was already a pretty damn great city, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Magic Johnson, Kobe later. LA was a pretty good city, too; they had other stuff going on. LeBron James to the Cleveland Cavaliers? That set things off, man. 

J.A. ADANDE: That was everything. There is that great YouTube video. The Cleveland Tourism Board or something like that, it was like a mock Cleveland promotional video which really pointed out all the things that were *wrong* with Cleveland. But one of the lines in there is, “Our economy is built on LeBron James.” 

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