Heading into the 2015-16 NBA season, much of the attention will be on Kobe Bryant and what may be the final season of his career. With the five-time champion set to turn 37 years old, he looks to rebound from three consecutive season-ending injuries.
While the focus is on this upcoming season with the Los Angeles Lakers, USA Basketball Executive Director Jerry Colangelo says Kobe has a chance to be a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team via SheridanHoops:
Kobe Bryant has a chance to be a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, even though he is not attending Team USA’s minicamp this week, USA Basketball Executive Director Jerry Colangelo told SheridanHoops Tuesday.
Since Kobe would be 38 years old by the time the 2016 Olympics rolls around, Colangelo says there were no promises or guarantees made, but a return to Team USA is possible:
Bryant and Colangelo actually discussed the possibility in June during an NBA/USAB sponsorship conference in New York. Colangelo made no promises or guarantees, but made it clear to Bryant that if he is able to compete at a high level during the 2015-16 season, the door will be open for him to return to Team USA.
With 34 players currently participating at Team USA’s mini camp this week, Colangelo and company have the tough task of choosing the 12 best players to represent the country in Rio. Although Kobe has participated in the past two Olympics that has resulted in Gold medals, he has previously stated that he has no intention of playing.
Heading into his 20th season with the Lakers, Kobe is surrounded with a nice blend of veterans and prospects. While making the playoffs in the Western Conference will be a challenge, Kobe has an opportunity to prepare the young core of D’Angelo Russell, Julius Randle and Jordan Clarkson for the next era of Lakers basketball.[divide]