What is the film 'The Golden Generation'?

The documentary on the Olympic Channel re-lives a famous tournament for Argentinian basketball.

"It's just pure emotion."

—Manu Ginobili

Manu Ginobili has won four NBA Championships and is a two-time NBA All-Star.

But there's one honour in his career that he says cannot be surpassed: Olympic gold at Athens 2004.

That tournament is the subject of the Olympic Channel Five Rings Films documentary, The Golden Generation, which can now be watched for free worldwide on OlympicChannel.com and the Olympic Channel app.

In it, Ginobili and his Olympic champion teammates, Luis Scola, Andrés Nocioni, Fabricio Oberto, Rubén Wolkowyski, Carlos Delfino, Pepe Sanchez, Alejandro Montecchia, Leo Gutierrez, Gabriel Fernandez, Walter Herrmann, Hugo Sconochini, and coaches Ruben Magnano and Alejandro Cassettai, all feature, re-living their Greek glory.

"Can you believe it?"

The film was directed by Academy Award-winning director Juan Jose Campanella and Camilo Antolini.

It follows the team from its beginnings in youth basketball, through the economic crisis in Argentina and a historic win over the USA at the 2002 FIBA World Championship, to its greatest achievement.

That squad was the first team to defeat an American side comprised entirely of NBA players when they triumphed in Indianapolis in 2002. They repeated that feat two years later in the Greek capital before defeating Italy in the gold medal game.

"We broke the spell and the aura of an invincible USA," Ginobili told the documentary. "Can you believe it? We beat them."

Gabriel Diego Fernandez, Andres Nocioni, and Emanuel Ginobili of Argentina celebrate defeating the United States in the men's basketball semifinal game at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

U.S. disappointment

Pau Gasol of Spain, U.S. forward Carmelo Anthony, former NBA Commissioner David Stern, and USA coaches Larry Brown and Gregg Popovich all also appear in the documentary, providing insight into the Athens Games from a non-Argentinian perspective.

"We sent a really representative team of the NBA to Athens," Stern said.

The feeling in the U.S. camp was one of confidence: "There's no way we can lose, with that team," according to Anthony. But they did.

The 'Dream Team', unbeaten in the Olympics since NBA players made their debut at Barcelona 1992, lost games in the preliminary rounds to Puerto Rico and Lithuania.

Their 3–2 record was enough to qualify them for the medal round, but their defeat to Argentina ended their quest for a fourth straight gold medal.

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony of the USA react on the podium after receiving their men's basketball bronze medals at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


The film ends with a series of emotional reflections on what winning the Olympic title meant to the players, reducing a few of them to tears.

It is revealed that head coach Magnano, who didn't receive a medal as he wasn't a player, was given a replica by point guard Montecchia.

"He thought I deserved one. So he gave it to me, in a noble act.

"Over the counter of a bar, just him and me."

The Golden Generation is now available to watch on the Olympic Channel worldwide.