Posted January 20, 2014

Kobe Bryant says he won’t play in 2016 Olympics

NBA
Kobe Bryant will be 38 in 2016. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Kobe Bryant will be 38 in 2016. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

In a chat with reporters before the Los Angeles Lakers took on the Chicago Bulls at the United Center Monday night, Kobe Bryant said he had no intention of changing his mind and suiting up for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics.

“I’ll go and spectate,” Bryant said, according to Bulls.com’s Sam Smith. He then added, with a smile, “Maybe I’ll go watch Pau win another silver.”

Bryant was addressing the topic because Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau — a Team USA assistant for the 2016 Olympics in Rio — told reporters that he might try to convince Bryant to play. Though Bryant dismissed the idea of playing, he did say he would entertain the conversation from Thibodeau.

“He can try all he wants,” Bryant said. “I love Tibs. That conversation with him would be more than welcome.”

Bryant will be 38 in 2016. He is currently recovering from a left knee injury, and he’ll have an MRI in February to determine the extent of progress on his recovery. He suffered the injury just weeks after returning to the court following a torn Achilles tendon.

During the 2012 Olympics in London, Bryant said that those Games would be his last as a player. Even last year, he served as more of a role player and deferred to stars LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Kevin Durant.

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17 comments
zurowski1979
zurowski1979

Time for a changing of the guards I say Make way for the next wave of big name players... Bryant has done well for his time with TEAM USA...and we thank him for all he has done over the years!!

DSM
DSM

I appreciate his past Olympic efforts, but in 2016 he would not make the team on merit. He and Deron Williams will need to make way for Curry, Irving, etc

Son_Gokuo_PR
Son_Gokuo_PR

Is this any surprise?
He will be 38 by then.

SukMadiq
SukMadiq

Good, he stinks, and we don't need him raping any olympians.

BruceDesjardins
BruceDesjardins

For the record, Michael Jordan made a similar announcement in his Wizard days.

tfaw
tfaw

you were a great player, but please ease off and retire with grace....

JoshLewis
JoshLewis

I would also like to announce that I won't be playing in the 2016 Olympics. 


The only difference between me and Kobe is I'm aware my announcement was both absurd and unnecessary.

therantguy
therantguy

I love the PR angle of him refusing an invite that wouldn't come...he would be 37 with eight hundred million miles on those legs and it's clear his injuries that he's done as an elite player (and certainly done two years from now)...he'd never accept a bench role and would never be picked as a starter for the team...

Norman5
Norman5

@tfaw Puhleaseee.  I know you didn't see it but he was playing well and will again. Don't you worry.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@JoshLewisAnother slight difference is that no assistant coach from the Olympic team told reporters that he might try to convince you to play.

Norman5
Norman5

@JoshLewis oh I know... who would ever want the guy that will probably be the NBA all time leader in scoring when he is done.

Norman5
Norman5

@therantguy What are you talking about?   They would make a spot for Michael Jordan on the roster if he wanted to play and he hasn't played competitively for ten years. 

MrGameandShow
MrGameandShow

@Norman5 @JoshLewis Ugh thats even more absurd thing to say. He wont even come near that record. Do you know how far away he is from that?