Does Kobe Bryant Deserve A Shot To Make The 2016 Olympic Basketball Team?

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Could an almost 38-year-old Kobe Bryant get a spot on the 2016 USA Olympic team? If Bean has any say in it, he will.

Bryant, who has two gold medals from two Olympics with Team USA, told the Associated Press that he feels like it would be fun if he headed down to Rio with the rest of the American squad.

“It would mean the world to me to be around those guys,” Bryant said in an interview with The Associated Press. “I think to be able to have a chance to continue the relationship that I already have with most of those guys, talking and just kind of being around each other and understanding that this is it, it’s just us being together, that would be fun.”

Bryant told the AP that he thinks his value would mostly come from his ability as a leader, and as a guy who would emphasize tough play on the defensive side of the ball. This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard Bryant talk about his desire to play in Rio. Earlier this year, he said he wants a spot on the team, but only if he earns it. USA Basketball Managing Director and Chairman Jerry Colangelo also doesn’t seem opposed to the idea of Bean riding off into the sunset.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons for skepticism as to whether Bryant should be on the team. Is it fair if he earns a spot as some sort of lifetime achievement over someone who may be a better player these days? Would he be happy taking up a slot reserved for guys who might not ever get another chance to play for America? Everyone has to admit that watching Kobe do work in one final Olympic games would be fun, but not for the player who doesn’t get to go because of Kobe.

(via Associated Press)