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FIBA President Muratore attends premiere of Olympic Channel documentary on Argentina's Golden Generation
BUENOS AIRES - FIBA President Horacio Muratore was among the dignitaries on hand in Buenos Aires on Thursday night for the premiere of 'The Golden Generation', an Olympic Channel original documentary about the run of Argentina's senior men's national to the top of the podium at the Athens 2004 Games.
The film, set to air on the Olympic Channel worldwide on October 22, includes original interviews with all 12 players from that team - including iconic ones such as Manu Ginobili, Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Fabricio Oberto - as well as head coach Ruben Magnano and Mr Muratore (pictured together above), who at the time was the President of Argentina's Basketball Confederation (CABB).
Video Embedded from olympicchannel.com:
"It was a great privilege to attend the premiere of this documentary on the Golden Generation," said Muratore. "The film is very good and full of emotions. It was visually stunning. It enables us to relive some unforgettable moments."
As well as Muratore, play-caller Magnano and members of that Olympic Gold Medal-winning side, Ruben Wolkowyski and Gabriel Fernandez, attended the premiere.
🇦🇷 @CamiloAntolini, one of the directors of #TheGoldenGeneration, invites you to discover the story of the basketball team that led Argentina to win a gold medal in #Athens2004.— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) October 5, 2018
More here 👉 https://t.co/57ukFwQi3t pic.twitter.com/z3I99LtF7T
Witness the amazing story of how Argentina brought down the “Dream Team” and changed basketball forever at Athens 2004. #TheGoldenGeneration - coming soon.— Olympic Channel (@olympicchannel) October 5, 2018
👉 https://t.co/qUBj4eXHeg@cabboficial @FIBA_es
The documentary takes a deep and considered look at one of, if not the greatest successes, in Argentina sports history.
The documentary, made by renowned directors Juan José Campanella and Camilo Antolini, carries footage of Argentina's Olympic campaign. It also conveys how close-knit the players were, not just as teammates but as friends, and shows how their bond has grown stronger in the years that have followed.
"WHAT REALLY THRILLS AND IMPACTS IS THE HUMILITY, EFFORT AND CAMARADERIE OF A GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT KEEPS GROWING STRONGER OVER TIME - A TEAM OF INDIVIDUAL STARS WHO MANAGED TO MERGE INTO A SINGLE SPIRIT..."
"The history of the golden generation is much more than a triumph of underdogs, which it is," said Campanella, who is renowned for directing 'The Secret in Their Eyes' which earned an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010.
"What really thrills and impacts is the humility, effort and camaraderie of a group of people that keeps growing stronger over time - a team of individual stars who managed to merge into a single spirit, and who years later maintains a friendship and admiration for each other that remains unchanged."
That 2004 Olympic basketball tournament is considered by some to be the best and most competitive of all time.
Argentina lost two of its five Preliminary Round games, with one defeat coming against a star-studded Spain that had Pau Gasol, Juan Carlos Navarro, Jorge Garbajosa, Jose Manuel Calderon, Rudy Fernandez and Felipe Reyes, and the other coming against the Italy team it would later take on in the Gold Medal Game.
The 89-81 Semi-Final triumph over the United States, the most successful country in Olympic basketball history, is what truly captured the imagination of fans in Argentina. Larry Brown, the veteran coach of the Americans who was assisted by San Antonio Spurs great Gregg Popovich, watched as Ginobili erupted for 29 points.
In the documentary, Brown said: "We invented basketball but they took it to a different level."
David Stern, the NBA Commissioner at the time, was left stunned by the clutch play of Ginobili.
He said: "If they did a DNA test on Manu, they would find frozen water in his blood."
"WE INVENTED BASKETBALL BUT THEY (ARGENTINA) TOOK IT TO A DIFFERENT LEVEL."
One of the Argentina players, Leo Gutierrez, spoke of how physically demanding it was to go up against the United States' team of NBA superstars.
"When you played against the NBA players, it was so strong, everything, that you then spent 10 or 12 hours in bed without moving," he said.
Fabricio Oberto also captured the significance of the game against the Americans, the team that had won 11 of the previous 14 Olympic Gold Medals and the previous three.
He said of hearing the Argentina national anthem before the opening tip, "It was as though you heard the last song before the end of the world."
Mark Parkman, General Manager of the Olympic Channel said: "Argentina's victory in Athens is one of the most memorable moments in Olympic basketball history and one that left a lasting impression on the country. We are honored to tell the story of 'The Golden Generation' and are confident that Argentinians and basketball fans around the world will be inspired by this once-in-a-lifetime team."
The documentary takes the viewer back 14 years ago when the basketball tournament took center stage at the Olympics.
Stephon Marbury, whose 6 three-pointers and USA Olympic record 31 points had been the inspiration for the Americans' 102-94 triumph over a previously unbeaten Spain in the Quarter-Finals, had 18 points against Argentina in their Semi-Final but the South Americans won.
Walter Herrmann, who had not played in three of the five Preliminary Round Games, was an x-factor for Argentina with 11 points. Nocioni (13 points), Alejandro Montecchia (12pts) and Scola (10pts) also provided plenty of offense while Argentina put in a terrific defensive effort.
In 2004, the careers of Nocioni and Scola, like Ginobili's, were just starting to take off. Montecchia, a veteran guard who competed in Spain's top flight, hit big shot after big shot against the USA. Everything came together at the right time for Argentina, who followed up the 8-point win with a more comprehensive 84-69 victory over Italy in the Gold Medal Game.
The other Argentina players in that team - Pepe Sanchez, Hugo Sconochini and Carlos Delfino - were big contributors