Kobe Bryant, “I Need To Earn a Spot”

Kobe Bryant at USA vs Nigeria Men’s basketball match at the 2012 Summer Olympics London 08/03/2012 © Jean Catuffe, PacificCoastNews.com

Dave McMenamin, ESPN (http://espn.go.com/los-angeles/nba/story/_/id/13435153/jerry-colangelo-ruled-kobe-bryant-2016-rio-olympics)

USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Thursday at the conclusion of Team USA’s minicamp that he has had a conversation with the Los Angeles Lakers guard about that very scenario and has not ruled out Bryant for the 12-man roster next summer.

“And so, he also mentioned to me in a private conversation that if he had his druthers, he would love to ride off into the sunset playing one more time and winning the gold medal. And that would be the end. But he was very quick to say, ‘But, I don’t want a spot. I need to earn the spot. I need to be capable of playing at that level to be considered.‘ And I said, ‘You got that. That’s always there for you, Kobe.'”

“There’s a guy who’s made great contributions to the game, again, one of the great players of all time,” Colangelo said of Bryant. “He helped us win the gold medal in Beijing. Trust me, he really did. And so he’s entitled to an opportunity.

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