Kobe Bryant: LA Lakers star says he wants to play at Rio 2016

Kobe Bryant
Bryant has spent his entire career with the Lakers

Retiring LA Lakers great Kobe Bryant has said he would love to represent the US at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Bryant, 37, regarded as one of the greatest basketball players in history, announced this week he would retire at the end of the NBA season.

The two-time Olympic gold medallist has been hindered by injuries in recent seasons but said he would "love to play" in Rio if fit enough.

"If my body can't do it, there's no sense doing it," he said.

The five-time NBA champion has scored 32,734 points during a 20-year career with the Lakers to rank third on the NBA's all-time list.

Bryant, who won gold with the US team in 2008 and 2012, told ESPN Radio: "I would love nothing more than to be in an international environment and be around some of the other great athletes one more time."

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'Dear Basketball': Kobe Bryant's poem

Should the Lakers fail to make the end-of-season play-offs, Bryant's final game is set to be at home against Utah on 13 April. The Olympics will be held four months later, between 5-21 August.

He is one of 34 players in the US men's national team pool, from which only 12 can be selected for Rio.

Bryant announced this season would be his last in a poem in the Players Tribune entitled 'Dear Basketball'.

"My body knows it's time to say goodbye," he said. "This season is all I have left to give."

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