There were a number of things weighing on Dwyane Wade during his and Team USA’s gold medal performance in the 2008 Olympics, which is chronicled in the new Netflix documentary, “The Redeem Team.”
“It was a crazy time,” Wade told The Post during a private screening at CultureCon NYC. “I was going through a lot in my personal life. It’s like, 2006, and I’m at the top of the mountain screaming by myself.
“And then 2007, I got injured and then I’m going through a divorce and it just all started snowballing and a snowball started rolling downhill fast for me.”
Wade arrived at the Beijing Games after working his way back from serious shoulder and knee injuries in the 2007-08 season that nearly derailed his Olympics campaign. He underwent surgery for both prior to the Games, and was dealing with critics questioning if he’d be the same caliber of player when he returned to action.
At the same time, Wade was also going through a tumultuous divorce and custody battle with his high school sweetheart, Siohvaughn Funches. Wade eventually won full custody of their son, Zaire, now 20, and daughter, Zaya, now 15, in 2011. The divorce was finalized in 2010.
(Wade also has a son, Xavier, 8, that he shares with with Aja Metoyer, and in 2018, Wade and his current wife, actress Gabrielle Union, welcomed a daughter, Kaavia James, via surrogate as well. He is also the legal guardian of his nephew, Dahveon Morris, 21.)
Prior to the Beijing Games, Wade was fresh off winning his first NBA title with the Heat in 2006, when he was named Finals MVP. But building his way back from injury, in addition to his off-court situation, was something he had never dealt with before.
The 2008 Olympics not only restored Team USA’s place atop the basketball world, it also served as Wade’s own redemption story.
“I just had to reset myself, you know, and I spent a lot of time with myself and that’s what I did. And I just committed myself to the work and committed myself to the mental and the physical part of getting back to being the person and the player that I knew I could be,” Wade said. “The Olympics helped me a lot. It gave me something to shoot for. It gave me something to work for — it gave me some light at the end of the tunnel. And so I was thankful for that at that time.”
Wade came off the bench for Team USA, but was still the leading scorer with 16.2 points per game and the Americans went on to beat Spain in a back-and-forth gold medal game, 118-107.
“Seriously, if you got D-Wade coming off your bench, you got the greatest international team ever,” LeBron James said in the documentary.
Wade, James and Chris Bosh, who was also part of the team, would eventually team up two years later with the Heat. The Big 3 won back-to-back championships with Miami in 2012 and 2013.
“The Redeem Team,” directed by Jon Weinbach, is streaming now. Both Wade and James are executive producers.
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