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Kobe Bryant wants to play in 2016 Olympics

Photo Credit: CHRISTIAN PETERSEN/GETTY IMAGES

With much of the focus on Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant‘s retirement plans, he stated Monday that he wants to play for Team USA in the 2016 Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, according to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press.

“It would mean the world to me to be around those guys,” Bryant said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think to be able to have a chance to continue the relationship that I already have with most of those guys, talking and just kind of being around each other and understanding that this is it, it’s just us being together, that would be fun.”

This is a big shift in thinking as Bryant had stated back in January of 2014 that he was finished playing international basketball. The 17-time All-Star had helped Team USA capture the gold medal in both the 2008 Beijing Games and 2012 London Games.

The sudden desire to play next summer could be due to him leaning towards retiring after this season, but he has yet to make a final decision stating that he is leaving the door open to possibly extending his career past his 20th season. 

The conversation of Bryant rejoining Team USA started up in August when USA Basketball chairman Jerry CoAngelo told reporters that he had spoken to the five-time NBA champion about playing next summer. The final 12-man roster is expected to be revealed next June. 

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Bob Garcia IV

Staff Writer at Sports Out West
Bob Garcia IV is a sports journalist from Southern California. He's currently the Los Angeles Lakers beat writer for Sports Out West. He is also currently covering the NBA and NFL for ClutchPoints. He was previously the beat writer for LA Rams Report for Scout.com, which is a website dedicated to covering the Rams. Lastly, he was a reporter for the award-winning newspaper, The Daily Sundial, at California State University, Northridge. You can follow him on Twitter, @BGarciaivsports.
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