It was by no means an easy road for Team USA during the Olympics in Brazil. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski had his work cut out for him as Team USA struggled at times against teams like Serbia, France, and Australia, but in the end, everything came together with Kevin Durant and company taking home the gold yet again.
Following Team USA’s blowout win over Serbia in the gold medal game, the recently retired Kobe Bryant took to Twitter to congratulate the team. Bryant, who helped Team USA get back to prominence in 2008 and 2012, showed some love to his former teammates and Coach K:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 21, 2016
Before Bryant decided to retire, the Los Angeles Lakers superstar seriously considered ending his playing career as a member of Team USA. Bryant thought the idea of going out in a winning situation in the Olympics was an ideal sendoff with the future Hall of Famer having no intention of returning to the NBA.
After realizing that his body simply couldn’t hold up anymore and that he was better off saving everything he had for his grand finale at the Staples Center on April 13, Bryant pulled his name out of the running for Team USA’s final roster. Kobe gradually became content with the idea of ending his career in a Lakers uniform rather than taking a spot on Coach K’s roster that a young player on the rise may have been more deserving of at this point.
Regardless of Kobe’s absence, or LeBron James and Stephen Curry’s for that matter, Team USA went on to win gold further cementing the legacy of Coach K and Carmelo Anthony on the international level. The win over Serbia in the gold medal game is also the 76th straight victory for the Americans which breaks the previous record held by Team USA.