Why Kobe Bryant Is Still Under Consideration For The 2016 Olympics

Kobe Bryant shocked the basketball world when he announced his retirement at the end of the 2015-16 season on Sunday night. Bryant revealed his plans in a poem, and said that he’s ready to call an end to a 20-year career at the end of this season.

With Bryant hanging it up after this season, there is one question that still needs to be answered: will Bryant make the roster for the United States at the 2016 Summer Olympics? According to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Colangelo told ESPN that Bryant is still being considered for a spot on the team.

Bryant’s letter seems pretty straightforward about his future, but it is important to remember that he has been vocal about how much he wants to play in Rio next summer. The five-time NBA champion also hasn’t said if Sunday’s announcement also means that he’s changed his mind about the Olympics.

When asked about going to Rio before, Bryant has said that it would “mean the world” if he got the chance to represent his country one more time, but stressed that he doesn’t want to be handed a spot if he doesn’t earn one. If he were to be added to the team, Bryant has mentioned that he thinks he would be an asset to the Americans “from a leadership perspective and a defensive perspective.”