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Lakers News: Kobe Bryant wants to 'ride out to the sunset' with Olympic gold medal

Could Kobe Bryant represent the United States one last time?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The end date of Kobe Bryant's NBA career was very likely revealed on Wednesday, but that may not be the last time the Los Angeles Lakers' legend takes the court with other professional basketball players. According to USA Basketball director Jerry Colangelo (via ESPN's Dave McMenamin), Bryant has said he wants to "ride out to the sunset" with a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. However, Bryant also told Colangelo he wants to earn his way on to the team rather than be given a spot on the final 12-man roster based upon his past international contributions, including gold medal runs in 2008 and 2012.

Earlier this week, Colangelo told Chris Sheridan "If he had a great year, it would be a great story for him to try to close out his career by winning a gold medal." The two also "discussed the possibility [of Bryant playing in Rio] in June during an NBA/USAB sponsorship conference in New York," according to Sheridan.

Bryant likely will not make a final decision on whether or not he would want to take part in the Olympics until after he sees if he can make it through the 2015-16 season healthy and at a level of play he is satisfied with. So while it is fun to bandy about theories on his Olympic participation, we likely will not be getting any final answers until the April at the earliest.