Kobe Bryant will not participate in Rio 2016
Basketball legend Kobe Bryant has revealed that he will not be playing in the upcoming Rio de Janeiro Olympics, ESPN reported.
At a pre-game news conference in Salt Lake City before the Lakers‘ game against the Utah Jazz, the 37-year old mentioned, “I think as beautiful as it would be to play for our country, when I say my last game is going to be my last game, I'm going to retire, then that's it.”
Kobe added, “It's not like I'm going to walk off the stage and then [say], 'But I'm going to come right back for a minute. Hold on one second.' You know what I mean? I think it's pretty sweet to have the final game be in a Laker uniform and support the players from afar.”
With a number of promising youngsters vying for a spot in the US team, Bryant said, “I think it’s their time. I think it’s their time.”
The shooting guard stated that he had informed his decision to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski.
Bryant asserted, “I’ve had my moment. I already let Jerry and Coach K know that I physically can't do it.”
He was part of five different USA Basketball national teams over his career with a combined 36-0 record in the international circuit. The highlight of his career was securing successive gold medals at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics.
The American concluded, “I want to walk off the court that last time as Laker.” Bryant's final game would be on April 13 against the Jazz at Staples Center.