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Mike Brown on Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol playing in 2012 Olympics

January 16, 2012 | 12:24 pm

Should Lakers Coach Mike Brown get his way, Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol won't play in the 2012 London Olympics.

"Selfishly, you want them to relax a little bit at home," Brown said. "Knock on wood, you always think about the possibility of them getting hurt and all that stuff."

But Bryant has already professed his intentions to play for Team USA in the 2012 London Olympics even before the team announced its final roster on Monday. Same with Gasol, who hopes his Spanish national team will rectify its silver-medal finish in the 2008 Beijing Olympics against Team USA.  

But don't expect Brown to convince either player to take it easy this summer. 

"To tell a guy not to be able to put on his country's uniform and represent, that's not right," Brown said. "Nor is it fair of me. I never do it. If they're lucky enough to go do that, it's an honor and they should go ahead and go do it. If for some reason they were sick and stayed home, I would be OK with it too."

Bryant's case is unique because of the torn ligament in his right wrist that requires him to wear a brace that looks like an oven mitt. The Times' Mike Bresnahan recently reported that the wrist might require surgery.

Still, Bryant opted against surgery on a torn ligament in his right pinkie so he could compete in the 2008 Olympics. He also declined to have surgery to help alleviate the arthritis in his fractured right index finger after the 2009-10 season because he felt the rehabilitation period would eat into his preparations for the following season. 

"I don't know — that's a very good question that would better be served by the doctors to answer it," said Brown about any potential surgery for Bryant. "The reality is I don't know and no one has said that to me. He's got that finger where he has a torn ligament too and he never had surgery. But it's fine. So I don't know."


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Kobe Bryant makes right decision in choosing to play in 2012 Olympics

Pau Gasol should benefit from European Championships

— Mark Medina

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