After Team USA beat Pau Gasol’s Spanish squad in the 2012 Olympics in London to win gold, Kobe Bryant let it be known that he had no intention of playing in the Olympics Games in 2016.
Despite Bryant having no desire to play in the 2016 Olympics, current Chicago Bulls head coach and Team USA assistant coach, Tom Thibodeau, will try to convince him to play one more time according to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters:
A few interesting things from Tom Thibodeau's pre-game presser, incl. him saying he may try to convince Kobe to play on Team USA '16.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 20, 2014
Two days after the 2016 Olympics come to a close in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Bryant will turn 38 and may have officially called it a career. Bryant signed a two-year contract extension before returning from the torn Achilles injury on Nov. 25.
With Bryant reaching the ripe old age of 38 in 2016, the five-time NBA champion will have a lot of miles on his legs and may be unwilling to accept the invitation from Team USA.
Bryant responded to Thibodeau possibly asking for him to join the team in 2016 and shot down the prospect of playing in the Olympics once again according to Mike Trudell of Lakers.com:
Kobe on if he'll consider playing in the 2016 Olympics: "No … Maybe I'll go watch Pau win another silver."
— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) January 21, 2014
Bryant also used the opportunity to take a funny jab at teammate Pau Gasol according to Winters:
Kobe has no intention of playing in 2016 Olympics, said he would "spectate," watch "Pau win another silver."
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 21, 2014
Although Bryant will have played two more NBA seasons before the Olympics get underway in 2016, it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see him change his mind in a kind of farewell tour in Brazil, but it seems highly unlikely at this point that he’ll be making a third appearance in the Olympic Games.
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