Kobe Bryant continues to indicate his absolution in retiring at the end of this NBA season, initially agreeing to his own farewell tour which has him saying his goodbyes to every city, and now shooting down a chance for a final stint with Team USA at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.
via Baxter Holmes (ESPN):
“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,” Bryant said. “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.”
Kobe Bryant will not pursue a spot on the 2016 Olympics team. "I think it's the young guys' turn to go. … I've had my moment."
— Jody Genessy (@DJJazzyJody) January 16, 2016
USA Basketball’s Jerry Colangelo said last year that Kobe would be “entitled to an opportunity” to earn his roster spot for Team USA. Kobe admitted to Colangelo that he would appreciate the chance to go out like that, but only if he was physically able to perform at a high level.
Being that Kobe is on his farewell tour he’s looking to play as much as he can, and his injured Achilles has been sore lately (he had to leave the game in the second half at Utah last night). The goal has become to simply try and make it to April 13, the last game of his career at Staples Center against the Utah Jazz.