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Flashback: Kobe Bryant Tells Chris Collinsworth He’s Patriotic, ‘Honor’ Playing for U.S.

The NBC host asked if patriotism is now ‘like a day gone by’

While playing for Team USA at the 2008 Summer Olympics, Kobe Bryant made no secret his pride playing for America’s national team.

The team took gold that year, defeating Spain in Beijing, China, with Bryant newly ascended as captain. They were nicknamed “The Redeem Team,” after a disappointing third-place finish in 2004. 

NBC’s Chris Collinsworth asked if Kobe is still patriotic — a question appearing in the context of a Bush-era turn against outward displays of patriotism.

“Is that a ‘cool’ thing to say, in this day and age?” Collinsworth asked. “That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by.”

“No, it’s a cool thing for me to say,” Bryant replied. “I feel great about it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor.”

Here’s a full transcript of the exchange, via NewsBusters:

Collinsworth: Where does the patriotism come from inside of you? Historically, what is it?

Kobe: Well, you know it’s just our country, it’s… we believe is the greatest country in the world. It has given us so many great opportunities, and it’s just a sense of pride that you have; that you say ‘You know what? Our country is the best!’

Collinsworth: Is that a ‘cool’ thing to say, in this day and age? That you love your country, and that you’re fighting for the red, white and blue? It seems sort of like a day gone by.

Kobe: No, it’s a cool thing for me to say. I feel great about it, and I’m not ashamed to say it. I mean, this is a tremendous honor.

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