The opening ceremonies for the 2012 Olympics is only a few days away with Team USA looking to win a second consecutive gold medal under head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
With the added motivation of competing against Los Angeles Lakers teammate Pau Gasol and knowing that this is probably the last time he’ll compete in the Olympics, five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant made sure he’d be ready for Coach K.
It’s no secret that Kobe takes competition on any level as serious as anyone. With that being said, Kobe prepared for a final run at a second gold medal with a rigorous training regiment.
Reportedly, Kobe lost 16 pounds in training for the Olympics according to Jeremiah Tittle of The Guardian:
Beyond experimental therapy, Bryant reveals how else his appearance has changed, losing 16 pounds to prepare his older body for the rigours of the Olympics followed by another run at his sixth NBA title. “With summer basketball leading directly into the season – and I’m expecting to play until next June – I have to take some load off my knees. I’ve got to shave some of this weight.”
As one of the few players that have been able to stand of the test of time since being drafted in the 1996 NBA Draft, Kobe continues to find ways to keep a competitive edge on the basketball court. Even though Kobe is only 33-year-old, 34 in August, the Lakers star has been in the league since the age of 17. With all the miles on his legs due to playing virtually nonstop basketball since entering the NBA more than a decade and a half ago, Kobe needs to keep his body in excellent condition year in and year out.
Suprisingly enough, Kobe is still willing to continue playing for Team USA rather than electing to rest his aging body in order prepare for the upcoming 2012-13 NBA season. With the 2012 Olympics being his last go around with the Team USA, Kobe is going all-in by dropping the weight and giving it everything he has in order to win a second gold medal alongside LeBron James and company.
Admirable to say the least in comparison to much younger players like Dwight Howard, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade that have already started to struggle staying healthy during their NBA careers.