TAKE it from Australian Boomers forward Glen Saville - NBA superstar Kobe Bryant is "a good bloke".
Saville returned to Wollongong on Tuesday with fond memories of Beijing.
The two-time Olympian will fly to Adelaide today to join his Hawks team-mates for tomorrow night's pre-season trial against the 36ers.
Yesterday the Mercury caught up with Saville to find out what it was like to take on the NBA's best players.
While Bryant's USA team-mates didn't win many friends on the way to winning the gold medal at Beijing, Saville said the famous Los Angeles Lakers guard left a lasting impression for all the right reasons.
"Without a shadow of a doubt, Kobe carried himself way above every other person on that team," he said.
"I'd heard and read stuff about him in the past, but he was a class act all the way through, even going back to when we played them at the pre-Olympic tournament in Shanghai.
"Most of the other guys on that team just acted like prima donnas. They just carried on like pork chops," he added.
Kobe got that respect from International players.