Today, we share highlights from the latest episode of “The Dream Team Tapes: Kobe, LeBron & The Redeem Team” from Diversion Podcasts. This week features inside moments and anecdotes from Chris Bosh, Deron Williams, Coach K, Jason Kidd, Carmelo Anthony and more as they reflect on their first full experience training camp together as a team during the summer of 2007.
During the episode, Coach K also shares some memorable interactions with LeBron and Kobe including the time Kobe showed up two days early in Vegas to share his defensive philosophy for the 2008 games and demand Coach K let him guard the best player on every team in the tournament!
Highlights and timestamps include:
- Deron Williams on the first time he saw the fully assembled and playing together during training camp (18:20-19:38): “When we got together and I was looking at the lineups, I was like man this is a pretty good team. I don’t see anyone beating us!” When you put that much talent in a room, with some of the hardest workers in the game, with some of the best leaders and best coaches in the game....all those things together, great leadership from the top with Jerry Colangelo. I just didn’t see us losing.”
- Syracuse coach, Jim Boeheim reflects on Kobe’s immediate impact upon joining the Redeem Team in 2007 (24:18-24:46): “Kobe really changed the whole focus of the team. He came in, worked out in the morning, he worked out at night and came to practice and attacked everybody. Literally! He attacked whoever he was guarding. I’ve never been around Kobe other than to say hello to him, but he attacked everybody in those first couple days of practice.”
- Coach K also goes on to discuss meeting LeBron in Akron ahead of the summer of 2007 to get his feedback on the additions of Kobe, Jason Kidd, and Chauncey Billups and whether he could co-exist with them on the team (29:51-31:35): “I said, I wanna bring these three guys in and how do you feel about them? Because some of these guys may feel nobody is as good as them/ This is a true story...He [LeBron] said ‘well J-Kidd is the best passer in the NBA, I can really pass too. I can learn from him. And at that time Kobe was the best player in the NBA, he didn’t say that but he did say, ‘Nobody prepares like Kobe, I can learn from that, and Chauncey is really smart.’ Every meeting that we had with that team, LeBron sat next to J-Kidd and almost every night Jason and LeBron went to shoot together. I call it sharing best practices. How would they have ever shared best practices if they had not come together and been willing to share that stuff. At the end of the day it was beautiful.”
- Jason Kidd looks back on developing a close relationship with LeBron in Vegas and how he had to get accustomed to his favorite drink at the time (34:07-34:20): “Well understanding I had to get used to drinking Strawberry Daiquiris with LeBron. That was number 1. I think we set a record in Vegas of drinking Strawberry Daiquiris.”
- Coach K on the surprise visit he received from Kobe in Vegas, two days before players were scheduled to show up and the promise Kobe made to him that day (36:34-37:34): “Two days before we started meeting for that team, we were in Vegas as a staff and were planning. Then all of a sudden there was a knock on the door and it’s Kobe. He’s there 2 days early! Again, I’m not embellishing this at all, he [Kobe] said ‘Coach I’d like to talk to you for a little bit….he continued “I need for you to do me a favor’ and I said of course, what’s the favor and he [Kobe] said ‘I wanna guard the best perimeter player of very team we face….and I promise you, I’ll destroy them!’”