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Dousing the flames on the latest Games

August 30, 2008

I will never be a Lakers fan. If the planet Klingon had an NBA franchise I would lustfully cheer for them to destroy the Lakers any time they played. I despise pretty much everything related to the Lakers.

So it is taking me a lot to say this. I am so grateful Kobe Bryant was on the Olympic basketball team. His fourth-quarter heroics capped by his coldblooded four-point play versus Spain probably saved the gold medal for the USA.

So now until the tipoff of the first game of the upcoming NBA season, Kobe is my man.

Brian Wallace

Juneau, Alaska

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Bill Plaschke's article about how Kobe Bryant's Olympic experience will help his appeal totally ignored why these games will truly benefit his image and career. Playing team ball, passing more often, and working on defense pale with his display of humility and honor representing Team USA.

As I watched, I thought to myself, "My God, advertisers must be drooling!" at his genuine and heartfelt patriotism. Suddenly, sitting in the stands cheering American athletes, he became real. In interview after interview his unabashed pride in his country -- our country -- transformed him forever and will benefit him in ways he can't imagine.

G. Douglas Andersen

Brea

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Quit lathering up Kobe so he'll talk to you. I'm still trying to figure out how this supposed Jordanesque player let his team get blown apart in the sixth game of the NBA Finals.

Was he already dreaming of Beijing while his "deer in the headlights" teammates were looking for a little inspiration?

Steve Orton

LaGrange, Ill.

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Bill Plaschke's blast at China's "sneaky" Olympics was a cheap shot. The worst offense committed by China was that somebody, apparently, peeked through Plaschke's hotel door at him. Wow, such horrors. Get real. That's like swimming with a tank of sharks and complaining that you stubbed your toe getting out of the pool.

Yes, the Chinese may have smiled too much (shame on them), acted too friendly, and been "forced" to participate as spectators at the Olympics. Yes, China has major problems . . . like every other country. Let's put aside the bickering for once and just enjoy this event, even if it may have been nothing more than a day at Disneyland. After all, we all know that Disneyland is not real, but that never stops any of us from leaving it with a smile on our faces.

Craig P. Fagan

San Diego

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I don't have cable, and like an idiot I tuned into NBC's Olympic coverage. I wanted to see the world's best athletes compete in 28 sports, and as usual, NBC showed me basically four: gymnastics, volleyball (indoor and beach), basketball and swimming (including every Michael Phelps event).

This wasn't the Olympics, this was "Americans winning medals." Now excuse me, I have to go watch the closing ceremony and the last sports event of NBC's coverage -- Americans playing volleyball.

Ric Taylor

Los Angeles

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There were triumphs and disappointments for the U.S. Olympic team in Beijing, just as there are every four years, but the American athletes conducted themselves with grace and dignity whether in victory or defeat. They passed every sportsmanship test, including the chemical kind. I was proud of our team, as I think every American should be.

Tom Turner

Dana Point

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As I watched the Redeem Team celebrate its well-deserved gold-medal win, I found myself consumed with a single thought. One day, in soccer . . .

Paul Deffenbaugh

Moorpark

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