Kobe Bryant Knows Spain Desperately Wants to Win Exhibition vs Team USA

The Spanish national hoops team has attempted to sell the world on the idea that they’re not taking tonight’s supposedly friendly Olympic tuneup against the American side too seriously. Kobe Bryant, however, isn’t buying any of it. From the AP: “A game against the U.S. – the team that beat them for the Olympic basketball gold medal four years earlier – this time in front of their own crowd? The Spanish players are supposed to be OK with losing, because it’s only an exhibition? ‘There’s not a chance,’ Bryant said Monday. ‘It’s not just practice. It’s impossible.’ Bryant might have come away with a different opinion if he’d listened to Spain’s players talk on the same Palau Sant Jordi floor about an hour earlier. They are excited about the game Tuesday night and will try to win, but not at the expense of their preparations for London. ‘It’s an exhibition game. I think both teams are going to try to (use) different lineups, going to try maybe different stuff, but at the end of the day you know you’re not going to show a lot of things to the other team,’ Spain guard Jose Calderon of the Toronto Raptors said. ‘You’re not going to have a medal if you win or if you lost tomorrow.’ […] ‘It’ll definitely be a great test,’ Spain star Pau Gasol said. ‘We believe in our chances, but it’s just a friendly game. Obviously we’d rather lose tomorrow and win in London.’ […] Bryant said Gasol is like a little brother, and that big brothers don’t let little brothers win. ‘He doesn’t like to lose against anyone, but I’d like to maybe let him win tomorrow and maybe beat him in London,’ Gasol said. ‘That’ll be ideal.’ Bryant countered that there’s ‘no way Pau is thinking this is just another game.’ And if it’s another tight one like the Beijing battle as they head into the final minutes Tuesday? ‘There’s no way Pau’s sitting down,’ Bryant said.”