This Day In Lakers History: Kobe Bryant Wins Final Gold Medal With Team USA In London 2012 Olympics
Kevin Durant, Carmelo Anthony LeBron James and Kobe Bryant celebrate winning gold at the London Olympics in 2012

After a bronze medal finish in the 2004 Olympic Games, Team USA was in need of a rebuild. Gone were the days of dominating the basketball portion of the Olympics for the U.S. as countries such as Spain and Argentina had caught up.

The 1992 USA team was appropriately nicknamed the “Dream Team” behind a plethora of Hall of Famers. That squad blew by the competition to secure the gold.

In 2008, the new team USA was appropriately nicknamed the “Redeem Team” with the best American players enduring the responsibilities of bringing back the gold. That squad did exactly that, behind Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant’s legendary gold medal game.

It was much of the same in 2012 as Team USA regrouped to defend its gold. Another appearance in the gold medal game against Spain saw the U.S. come out victorious on Aug. 12, 2012 in London.

Bryant didn’t lead the team in scoring this time — he had 17 on 50% shooting — but he played a key role in securing the gold.

The 2012 Olympics were bitter-sweet for Bryant — it was his final appearance ever. He declined to participate after his final season in 2016. The 2012 games also saw Bryant etch himself further into Lakers lore.

By winning his second gold medal, Bryant officially had the most gold medals of any Laker player ever. That feat held until Carmelo Anthony, who has three, joined the Purple and Gold last season.

In 17 minutes per game, Bryant averaged 12 points on 42% shooting from the field. He was coming off the second to last time in his career where he displayed consistent play. He tore his Achilles the season immediately after the Olympics, seemingly eliminating a return to his peak performance.

Much of that 2012 run turned into the Kevin Durant show. The then 23-year-old averaged nearly 20 points per game on 52.3% from deep in eight games. His 30 points in the gold medal game were a team-high.

Anthony stole headlines with his 37-point performance against Nigeria in the group stages. The point total is an American Olympic record and included 10 3-pointers on 12 attempts. Team USA also set a record for most points (156) ever in an Olympic game.

The dominance in 2012 continues as the U.S. has won four consecutive gold medals in basketball.

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