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Kobe Bryant eager for 2012 Olympics

January 17, 2012 |  9:43 am

Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant stood at his locker and stared directly at his competition.

Lakers forward Pau Gasol will play for the Spanish national team in the 2012 London Olympics that will be trying to improve on its silver-medal finish behind the U.S. in 2008 in Beijing. 

Bryant, one of the 20 finalists for the 2012 Team USA squad, said there's a specific reason he's "looking forward to it."

"I'm definitely going to be there," Bryant said, "because I sure as hell am not going to let that guy win it."

Bryant's selection as a finalist is hardly a surprise. He has indicated the torn ligament in his right wrist has healed. And, yeah, it's Kobe Bryant. Of course, he's going to compete for a second gold medal. 

"If he's injury free, I'm sure he will play," said Mavericks forward and former teammate Lamar Odom, who was is also a finalist. "He loves to compete on that level. Competition, that's his thing. That's what he does." 

The U.S. has to submit its final 12-man roster by July 12.


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-- Mark Medina

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Photo: From left to right, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony join together after defeating Spain and winning the gold medal in the 2008 Olympics. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times