After suffering many defeats on the international stage prior to 2008, Team USA was able to regain their standing thanks in large part to the contributions of Kobe Bryant and LeBron James. Despite being widely regarded as the best team in the sport, the United States has been unsuccessful in winning a medal in the FIBA World Cup in 2002 and 2006 as well as the Olympics in 2004.
However, in recent years, Team USA has been overtaken by competitors from other nations. Teams such as Arentina, Spain, and Greece had a culture that the US lacked since they did not have continuity with their roster selection. This was in contrast to the culture of teams such as Greece and Spain.
While this was going on, the rest of the teams had a strategy in place and the benefit of having NBA players who were successful in the league. After missing their opportunity to capture the old medal in 2004, Team USA made the decision to make significant adjustments to their strategy.
They held training camps each summer, with young players like LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Dwyane Wade, and Carlos Boozer serving as the driving force behind the team under the direction of new coach Mike Krzyzewski. At the 2006 FIBA World Cup, the United States of America competed with great chemistry but ultimately lost to Greece and had to settle for the bronze medal once again.
Then, veteran stars like Kobe Bryant, Jason Kidd, and Michael redd were brought in to provide further support for the team. After joining the team, Bryant immediately had a huge impact on both its culture and its approach. The others picked up his dedication to hard work almost immediately.
Keeping their egos in check was another valuable contribution that Bryant and James made to the team. On that roster were players who were all considered to be leaders of their respective franchises and were among the most famous players in the NBA. During this time, prime-time debate shows were completely consumed by Bryant’s. James and the question of who currently holds the title of best player in the world.
However, the two were able to find a way to work together, and in exchange for this, they gave up their superstar status and motivated the rest of the players to buy into the team’s philosophy. The relationship between Kobe Bryant and LeBron James was one of the numerous factors that contributed to their success.
Nеithеr lеd the tеam in рoints, rеbounds, оr аssists, but the USA wеnt оn tо sеcurе а ɡold medal, еnding their еight-yеar drоught оf а first-place finish.
The ‘rеdееm Tеam’ аs they wеrе knоwn, finished the tоurnament with аn 8-0 rеcord, bеating heavyweights Arɡentina 101-81 in the sеmi-final аnd Sрain 118-107 in the final.
LеBron Jаmes аnd Kоbe Bryant built а rеlationship during Tеam USA camps
During the early stages of LeBron James’ career in the NBA, he and Kobe Bryant didn’t have much of a working relationship with one another. Throughout the most of his brief career, Bryant maintained a demeanor that was best described as reserved. He never socialized with other NBA superstars or established any acquaintances in the league he played in.
However, all of that changed in 2007 when Kobe Bryant became a member of the Team USA training squad. Bryant built a relationship with LeBron James while he was surrounded by a younger group of players. Because of this, Bryant became a role model for up-and-coming basketball players in the league.
It was also a key step in his career as a leader, as he became more “local” and connected with his teammates off the field as well, so assisting them in adapting better to win and achieve success.