Chapter 8. Michael Phelps and The Redeem Team: Superstar Performers and Winning Teams

“We’re guaranteeing a gold medal. We’re bringing it back.”1

That’s what 20-year old Carmelo Anthony predicted after a single practice with fellow members of the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team before the 2004 Summer Olympic Games.

Media analysts and basketball experts quickly dismissed Anthony’s boast as little more than “youthful indiscretion” from a professional basketball player. But by the time the Olympic torch over Spiros Louis Stadium in Athens was extinguished a month later, his words hung in the air like a foul odor.

By then, the fourth installment of the Olympic Dream Team had become a nightmare. It lost three of eight games and finished with ...

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