After announcing Sunday he plans to hang up his sneakers at the end of the 2015-16 NBA season, Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant may play in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo tells https://t.co/EXInXOMads that Kobe Bryant remains in contention for Team USA spot for Rio 2016
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) November 30, 2015
Previously, Bryant expressed it would “mean the world” to him to tie up his laces for his third Olympics. USA basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo informed that the NBA’s third all-time leading point scorer, despite missing all Team USA minicamps, “remains in contention” and is “entitled to an opportunity” to compete for a spot on the team.
Sports Illustrated reported Bryant said he would be honored to make Team USA and play in the August games, but isn’t “obsessing over” the opportunity. Bryant, a 17-time NBA All-Star, owner of five NBA championship rings and one NBA MVP award, would join other NBA perennial All-Stars such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony.
The 37-year-old won gold medals at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and at the 2012 games in London. Bryant, who learned the game growing up in Italy, repeatedly expresses admiration for the international game. “I just think European players are just way more skillful,” he professed last season. “They are just taught the game the right way at an early age.”
When asked over the summer if he could envision the coda to his career coming abroad, Bryant divulged: “I can see myself doing that. I can see myself doing a lot of stuff.”