Before the Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Chicago Bulls on Monday, Kobe Bryant answered questions about the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil concerning whether or not he'd be playing for Team USA. Bryant said the following about what he intends to do during the 2016 Olympic Games according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters on Jan. 20:
“I’ll go and spectate,” Bryant clarified after saying he has no plans on playing in the 2016 Olympics. “I think I’d rather watch Pau…win another silver.”
After Team USA got the best of Pau Gasol's Spanish squad in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, Bryant indicated that it was likely the last time he'd be playing for Team USA. Bryant won two gold medals while playing alongside LeBron James and company adding to the five NBA titles he's won with the Lakers.
Although Bryant doesn't intend on playing for Team USA for a third time, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau will attempt to convince him otherwise. Thibodeau is an assistant coach under Mike Krzyzewski for Team USA and will pitch Bryant when the time comes.
It'll be interesting to see what Bryant's mindset is in 2016 after two more seasons in the NBA and approaching 38-years-old. Bryant knows that his basketball career is coming to a close and after two more years of wear and tear on his body, it'll more than likely be time to walk away.
With that being said, it comes as no surprise the future Hall of Famer would not want to return to Team USA for a shot a third goal medal.
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