Video: Exclusive footage of the puppy Air Bud

In 1997, a talented golden retriever named Buddy won the hearts and minds of America when he led a middle school basketball team in Washington to a championship (and shamed his abusive alcoholic clown owner in the process). Nicknamed "Air Bud," this powerful pooch went on to excel in sports, including football (where he became a "golden receiver" in a delicious pun), soccer (where he became "world pup" in an edible pun) and baseball (where he performed the "seventh inning fetch" in a pun that would not be accepted by orphans in Victorian London). Few athletes have accomplished so much, and even fewer still have remained so adorable while doing so.

But where did Buddy come from, and how did he become so adept with a ball despite not having prehensile digits? The answer comes in this exclusive training video obtained by BDL. This home video displays Buddy's training regimen at just 13 weeks old. It consists primarily of the dog rolling a basketball with his paws, trying to eat the ball, and finally falling on the ground from exhaustion. Even Michael Jordan never trained this intensely.

Clearly, Buddy's abusive alcoholic clown owner wanted him to become the very best from the moment he came out of the womb, even going so far as to separate him from the rest of the litter. Let this clip serve as a reminder that even the harshest upbringings can produce something beautiful.