Right after Sudanese immigrant and Team USA flag bearer Lopez Lomong relayed his heart-rending, significant narrative of a life torn by trials, punctuated by his overwhelmed and thankful gushing about being elected the flag bearer by his Olympic teammates, the Dream Team sauntered into their press conference, late and haughty and regally smug . For an hour, the First Name guys -- Kobe, LeBron, Melo et al -- asserted in world-weary tones that they would really try hard this time, that winning for country was more important than winning for NBA city or franchise.
Sadly, nobody asked them if winning for country was more important than winning for sponsor .
But then came Team Lopez.
That's not really fair; obviously, 17-year-old blondie Charlotte Craig is not a Lopez. However, the Lopez clan supplied the USA Taekwondo Olympic team with siblings (from left) Steven, Diana and Mark as well as coach Jean, the eldest, who is not pictured. Scrubbed and peppy and lean and supercute, they looked like the cast of a teen soap; Jean kinda looked like of of those really fit TV dads who make the soccer moms swoon.
In contrast to the million-dollar babies, Team Lopez made sure to articulate sincere, uncoerced, unrehearsed respect both for China, the host country, and Korea, the birthplace of their sport.
Mark even took a picture with his iphone. Of the gathered press.