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Kobe says another Olympics ‘would mean the world’ to him

Kobe Bryant

Team USA’s Kobe Bryant (10) reacts after a play during the first half of an Olympic men’s exhibition basketball game against Brazil, Monday, July 16, 2012, in Washington. Team USA won 80-69. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


MIAMI (AP) — Kobe Bryant says a spot on the U.S. Olympic team next summer “would mean the world” to him.

Bryant spoke with The Associated Press on Monday about the reasons why he wants to play in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, a tournament that theoretically could mark the end of his competitive basketball career if he retires at the conclusion of this NBA season.

The notion of Bryant on the Olympic team has been bandied about since August, when USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo revealed that he had talks with the longtime Los Angeles Lakers star - who previously said he wouldn’t play in Rio - about the potential of being on the team.

Bryant says he feels like he could add value to the Olympic roster “from a leadership perspective” and with his defense.