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Kobe Bryant says he won’t play in 2016 Olympics

Jan 20, 2014, 10:02 PM EST

Kobe Bryant AP

Kobe Bryant spoke to reporters before his Lakers faced the Bulls in Chicago on Monday, and the most newsworthy portion of the dialogue was regarding his status for the 2016 Olympics.

Bryant has struggled with major injuries since the end of last season, and is currently sidelined with a fractured bone in his knee that he hopes will be healed so he can return sometime in February.

But the miles are adding up, and the injuries along with the fact that Bryant is only under contract with the Lakers through the end of the 2016 season has him willing to rule himself out of playing for USA Basketball in the summer of 2016 more than two years in advance.

Classic Kobe, obviously, with the friendly jab at his teammate over the fact that Gasol and Spain typically are very good in international play, but have historically fallen short to Bryant’s USA squad.

  1. money2long - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    kobe, we’ll miss ya when you’re gone

  2. sportsfan18 - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    He wouldn’t be guaranteed to make the team.

    Yes, he’s one of the all time greats but he has A LOT of miles on him and he’s now been injured…

    PLUS the 2016 summer games are almost 2 and a half more years from now which mean he’ll have more miles on him and who knows what else with respect to injuries?

    The rest of the world isn’t that far behind as these guys sometimes don’t win by that much anymore.

    My point is only that the games aren’t now, they are in OVER 2 yrs from now.

    NBA minutes are tough and he’s played a lot of them.

    The season BEFORE the 2016 games will be his 20th NBA season.

    TWENTY years in the league. That is serious mileage.

    He might (I said might folks) not warrant a spot on the team.

    • money2long - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:42 PM

      food for thought..
      how many of the people in the game today with less mileage hope to be as good as kobe was just last season ?

    • savvybynature - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:26 AM

      If he was healthy and wanted it, he’d be on the team. Don’t kid yourself.

      He’s one of the most popular athletes in the world, they would turn it into a wonderful farewell tour that brought attention to the game of basketball, and honestly, he’d be worth being on the team just for his competitiveness in practice alone.

      And really, he’s Kobe Bryant. If healthy, you think he’d be some big liability as the last spot on the roster? Team USA would be fine, and I think he’d do just fine as well, and I’m a Spurs fan (taking up for Bryant, never thought I’d see the day…)

  3. asimonetti88 - Jan 20, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Wouldn’t expect him to! Thank you for your part in delivering two gold medals to the United States.

  4. coachjac30 - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Isn’t there talks of putting some type of age limit on the participants anyways? I know that it is supposedly not going to actually happen but maybe Kobe knows something we don’t know. If there isn’t going to be one, I don’t see Kobe being a good choice for the squad in 2016 anyways, unless he is willing to go and be more of a mentor than a contributor

  5. skids003 - Jan 21, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    Oh no!! How can they possibly win gold without the Great One? Especially heaving up his 30 shots a game? Bad news for the USA.

  6. csbanter - Jan 21, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    Kobe is not the man anymore, can PBT stop acting like he is. Its about Lebron,Durant,Aldridge,Cp3 Griffin. Articles about a mid 30s legend trying to come back for one last hoorah ….please.

    • money2long - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      hahahaah this comment. soo ignorant haha. im willing to bet the farm you’re no older than 21. no respect.

  7. bondsncruz - Jan 21, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Kobe will be 65 by then, so obviously he won’t be participating in the olympics.

  8. ranfan12 - Jan 21, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    mamba trolling lol

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