THIS forthcoming NBA season could be the final one for nearly 37-year-old Los Angeles Lakerslegend Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest players in the history of the sport. However, it looks unlikely that Kobe will get many opportunities to go out on a high note with the Lakers clearly in rebuilding mode.
Even if Kobe stays healthy, he may have to settle for a 35-point night on national TV as his final moment of triumph. Given his history, that’s a relatively minor achievement to cap such a stellar career.
Yet there is hope for a glorious ride into the sunset if Kobe joins USA Basketball at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August 2016. While Bryant no longer ranks among the 12 best American players in the NBA, he has the name recognition and broad respect to nab a place on the national team roster. Winning a third-straight Olympic gold would give him another major achievement on his way out of the sport.
True to form, though, Kobe doesn’t want to head to Rio as a token legend. According to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo, he only wants a spot on the team if he earns it.

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