Kobe Bryant has battled several unfortunate injuries over the past year, so it comes as no surprise that he has likely participated in his last Olympic Games. On Monday, Kobe confirmed that he would not be competing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, though he said he would attend the Games as a spectator.
Bryant, who is recovering from a knee injury that he suffered shortly after making his return from rehabbing an Achilles injury, took the opportunity to rip on Pau Gasol while he was speaking to reporters.
Kobe says he won't play in the 2016 Olympics, but he might attend as a spectator to "see Pau win another silver medal"
— Dave McMenamin (@mcten) January 21, 2014
Burn. Gasol’s native country of Spain took home the silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the London Olympics in 2012. Kobe and the Americans won gold both years.
Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, an assistant coach for Team USA, said on Monday that he plans on trying to convince Bryant to change his mind about Rio. Kobe said he would welcome the flattery.
“He can try all he wants,” Bryant said, via Serena Winters of Lakers Nation. “I love Tibs. That conversation with him would be more than welcome.”
In reality, Kobe is having enough trouble staying healthy during the grueling NBA schedule. Competing in the Olympics near the time of his 38th birthday would probably not be wise.
H/T SI Wire