Kobe’s slam dunk

In his interview with Cris Collinsworth, Kobe Bryant expresses his pride in representing the United States as a member of the American basketball team at the Olympics. Whence the pride? “Our country, we believe, is the greatest country in the world and it’s given us so many great opportunities and it’s just this sense of pride that you have, that you say, you know what, our country is the best.”

Collinsworth asks whether such pride isn’t the relic of a bygone era. Is it still cool to talk about fighting for the red, white and blue? Collinsworth flashes a patronizing grin and seems to be above it all, but Bryant bridles at the suggestion: “No, that’s a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it and I’m not ashamed to say it. This is a tremendous honor. You look at our troops overseas who are fighting for our country…” Listen to Bryant finish the thought in the linked video.

Thanks to reader David Whidden for the tip.

JOHN adds: Quite a few people have been critical of Collinsworth, but it seems to me that he was just trying to lead Bryant into saying what he did. I’ll try to put the clip up when I get back from the gym.

SCOTT adds: Jim Hoft and his readers weigh in at Gateway Pundit. Some of Jim’s readers share John’s perspective on Collinsworth’s question. The interview is any any event worth watching for Kobe’s comments, which are terrific.

PAUL adds: The U.S. men’s basketball team is coached by Mike Krzyzewski, a West Point grad and former basketball coach at West Point. Before the team went to China, Coach K had one of his former players, who is now a commander in Iraq, address the team. The commander brought along one of his men, a severely wounded soldier who wants to return to the field. The team seemed truly inspired and some members were in tears.

At the games, the U.S. team has been hugely impressive. In the group stage, no one played us close, and the U.S. routed a very good team from Spain. History suggests that someone will give us a close game before it’s over, but it will take a great effort, and probably some loss of focus by the U.S., for this to happen.

UPDATE by JOHN: Belatedly, here is the clip:

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