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Not that he was expected to, but Kobe not playing in World Championships

Aug 13, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT

Kobe Bryant AP

Kevin Durant and Kevin Love are in, but a number of Team USA’s biggest stars — LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony — were expected to sit out the 2014 FIBA World Championships in Spain.

It was kind of expected that Kobe Bryant was done with his Team USA time after London last summer (he’s got two gold medals now), but after his Achilles injury nobody expected him to return.

He made that official speaking in China, via Business Mirror.

“I love competing but I will let the young guys play and represent the country,” said Bryant…

“I had my fun playing, just leave the NBA championships to me,” added the two-time NBA Most Valuable Player.

Yes, an NBA championship… good luck with that one this season, Kobe.

The bigger question for Team USA is if LeBron will come back for the 2016 Olympics in Rio. There are doubts, and although Team USA can win without LeBron is just would be easier with him.

  1. dezglobal - Aug 13, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    No shock here

  2. jabronikid - Aug 13, 2013 at 9:25 PM

    I think these marquee American players are pretty sure they will have a hard time in Spain next year, and it will be better for them to skip this world championships than to be part of a losing team. Thumbs up to Durant and Love for taking on this big challenge against Espana in Spain.

  3. ibchuck33 - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    Kobe is a 2 time Finals MVP not a 2 time league MVP. He won that once in 2008; in 2009 and 2010 Finals MVP.

  4. Naveen Ganglani - Aug 13, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    He actually said those comments while on a promotional tour of Lenovo here in the Philippines, not China.

  5. lakerade - Aug 14, 2013 at 4:45 AM

    Singular focus.

    • muhangis - Aug 14, 2013 at 8:19 AM

      World championships is just not that important man.

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