Prior to the Los Angeles Lakers’ game against the Utah Jazz yesterday, Kobe Bryant revealed he will not be looking to get a roster spot on Team USA for the Rio Olympics this summer.
Instead, he hopes younger players will get their chance to shine.
Per the AP:
Bryant revealed Saturday that he is removing himself from consideration for a spot on the U.S. team that will compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics this summer, meaning the five-time NBA champion’s retirement begins officially when his 20th and final season with the Los Angeles Lakers ends.
Bryant made the announcement in Salt Lake City before the Lakers’ game against the Utah Jazz. He has informed USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo and Olympic coach Mike Krzyzewski, saying it’s time for others to enjoy the Olympic journey.
“Since my retirement announcement, I’m able to watch these guys in a different light,” said Bryant, a gold medalist in 2008 and 2012. “I’ve come to terms with the fact that they are the future of this game. These are the guys who deserve the spots in Rio. These are the guys who people need to watch and root for. These are the guys to show fans where this game is going in the future.”