Kobe Bryant is the elder spokesman in these 2012 Olympic Games and the true leader of the USA basketball team. Despite the fact that this may be Kobe’s last run, he is still a very effective player. Bryant has adjusted his game as the years have gone by and he no longer is a player who uses his explosion to beat opponents. Instead, Bryant relies on his perimeter shot and has developed a more simpler game. Still, even though Bryant may be towards the end of his career, he still trash talks like he’s 23.
In fact, Bryant is the one who starts the trash talking during USA’s practices. Bryant wants to keep the locker room loose and he finds that talking breaks any barriers standing in between the players’ ways, Pro Basketball Talk.
KB: They’re spirited [laughs]. You know a lot of it really falls on me because I’m kind of the wiser of the guys having been around so many years so most of the time I set the tone in practice by trash talking certain players whether it be a Lebron, or…
Interviewer: Friendly wagers..?
KB: [laughs]…You know or in Beijing it was D-Wade. Kinda getting practice going because up to that point its always kind of a little uncomfortable when guys don’t know if they can elbow a guy or talk trash to a guy and you know I just come out and just start chirping man [smiling]
Team USA is surely the favorite to win the Gold Medal in London, but they can certainly face a lot of problems in their path. Although everyone has publicly said they will not let NBA rivalries affect play on the court, it may become an issue.
As the captain of this USA squad, Kobe Bryant finds it his responsibility to get his troops together. Team chemistry may be just as important as executing plays on the court, and Bryant understands that he must have everyone on board in order to win.