If Kobe Bryant survives through the grueling 82-game NBA season, his farewell game for the Los Angeles Lakers will be against Utah Jazz on April 13 at the Staples Center. As of this moment, ticket prices for that Lakers-Jazz match have already soared through the roof.
But there is still hope to see Bryant in action next summer during the Rio Olympics. The question is: does Bryant deserve a spot in the Olympics roster?
Bryant aspires to represent the Red, White and Blue one more time in his illustrious career. Bryant, a former two-time Olympic gold medalist, wants the games in Rio to pull a full stop on his career. “I’d be honored if that was there, it would be fantastic to be around that group and spend kind of the last journey with them,” Bryant said during his retirement press conference yesterday. (watch video above)
However, Bryant said he would be willing to sacrifice his place for a younger player. “That being said, it’s not something that I’m obsessing over (If I don’t make the cut).”
According to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo via ESPN’s Mark Stein, “Kobe Bryant remains in contention for a Team USA spot for Rio 2016.”
NBC Sports reports that Bryant told USA coach Mike Krzyzewski that he “wanted to earn a spot, not be given one (spot) as a lifetime achievement award.”
Unfortunately for Bryant, it’s impossible to imagine him making the roster purely on merit. If Bryant does make the cut, it would be as a sign of honor. No other superstar in history has won three Gold Medals at the Olympics. LeBron James and Kobe Bryant could join that list next summer.