Kobe Bryant is ready to help Team USA defend their Olympic Gold Medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, confirming that he is willing to do whatever the team calls for him to do. ESPN reported that Bryant had sat down with U.S. basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski on Tuesday for his radio show, and that it was there where Bryant confirmed he is interested in defending that Gold Meal.
“You guys want me there, I am there and I’m ready to defend,” Bryant said. “And then when you guys need me to put some points on the board I’ll do that, too.”
At the 2008 Summer Olympics in China, Team USA was finally able to put the best players in the league back on the court to play for the Olympic Gold Medal. With players like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade anchoring the team, they swept through the Olympic Games and brought the respect of world basketball back to the United States. Bryant and point guard Jason Kidd provided some great veteran leadership to the team, and mixed with the young guns that included Carmelo Anthony, Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul, the team was very exciting to watch once again.
For the 2010 Basketball World Championships, none of those players returned to the team, and Team USA had to find a new crop of players. Kevin Durant joined the team and they again swept through the games, winning the first FIBA World Championship in quite some time for the United States. Now the prospect exists that the coaches could work with some of the best players of both the 2008 and 2010 teams, and that they could come up with a roster for 2012 that would be absolutely amazing. Who wouldn’t want to see players like Durant, Bryant, and James all on the court at the same time?
It is nice to see that it is finally “cool” to play for the United States Basketball Team at the Olympics, and that has a lot to do with the coaching and the culture that people like Mike Krzyzewski have brought back to the team. It is once again an honor to be on the team, and you aren’t guaranteed a spot just because you are the star of your own team in the NBA. Just ask Rajon Rondo, who ended up not making it on to the 2010 roster because there were just too many good point guards jockeying for playing time. We are still a ways away from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, but it is going to be a lot of fun if Team USA can put their superstars back on the court.