KOBE Bryant, according to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, is open to playing in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics before he “rides off into the sunset.”
In a report by ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Dave McMenamin, Colangelo said he has spoken to Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers star indicated he wants to play for USA Basketball in the 2016 Olympics.
Colangelo hinted that a Bryant stint in the 2016 Olympics could be his final hurrah as he retires from basketball. So far, Bryant has yet to officially make statements about his future, specifically whether the 2015-2016 NBA season will be his last.
“He also mentioned to me in a private conversation that if he had his druthers, he would love to ride off into the sunset playing one more time and winning the gold medal,” said Colangelo.
“And that would be the end,” he added.
Colangelo said Bryant wants to earn the spot especially after failing to attend the minicamp attended by LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony, James Harden, and Russell Westbrook, among other big names.
“But he was very quick to say, 'But, I don't want a spot. I need to earn the spot. I need to be capable of playing at that level to be considered.' And I said, 'You got that. That's always there for you, Kobe,’” said Colangelo.
Bryant, who will enter his 20th season with the Lakers, won gold in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.