To translate that from the Aussie vernacular, what 'Sav' is trying to say is, that Kobe was the only player on Team USA not to make a tool of himself in terms of his attitude towards his opponents.
The easy approach to take in this instance, by American supporters, is to say something along the lines of, "you lost, you're just bitter! USA! USA! USA!" All you need to do is check the comments section in almost any Olympics-related article to find these sorts of attitudes springing forth.
It's sometimes hard to look from the outside looking in and realise how people look from the perspective of others, but perhaps the perceived aura of arrogance that surrounds USA squads is not totally unfounded.
Kobe, LeBron and Co certainly fulfilled the first part of the redemption, but did they achieve the second part? That is the question we pose here today.
Now, back to Saville's claim that the USA (less Bryant) acted like pork chops in their match up. Australians are known as some of the best competitors sports-wise in the world; a country of only 20 million people that competes like one 10 times that size. Australians are used to a fairly large level of success and do not need to bring whining or complaining into it in order to please their nation with their performance. This is why it seems unlikely that Saville (along with some of his teammates) was complaining unnecessarily that USA were not being totally sporting about the affair.
The debate on this topic is pretty pointless amongst sports fans, as none of us were on the court to witness the reality of it all, however I will point you to look at the final handshakes after USA had disposed of Australia quite cleanly. From my viewing of that sequence, Bryant was indeed the only player to make an effort to talk to each player he shook hands with and in particular LeBron James did not appear to even look the players in the eye as he shook hands with them all.
You may say, "big deal." However it must be remembered that many of these players are to an extent role models of their opponents and are looked up to. James is one of the most marketed sports personalities on the planet. The least he could do after knocking over an opponent is to shake hands, look them in the eye and commend them on their performance, just the same as any good sportsman does even in their local rec league.
The 2008 Olympics are history now. The Americans won the Gold. Did they redeem themselves?
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