Mike Krzyzewski: USA Basketball double-checked with Kobe Bryant before naming Olympic team

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Kobe Bryant withdrew from Olympic consideration just a couple days before USA Basketball named finalists for the Rio roster. He then followed through on his plan to retire, leaving the Lakers with a memorable final game.

Even after all that, Team USA coach Mike Krzyzewski said Kobe still received some Olympics consideration.

Arash Markazi of ESPN:

I dunno. It always seemed Kobe withdrawing from consideration was a coordinated announcement because he got tipped off that he wouldn’t be selected. If so, this is just another way to boost Kobe’s image.

But Team USA had a surprisingly high number of players pull out — to the point Kobe might have made more sense than expected when he withdrew. He still wouldn’t have been one of America’s 12 best players, but the gap between his ability and the player he would’ve supplanted would’ve been smaller.