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Kobe Bryant won't play in Rio Olympics

The Mamba will not go to Rio with Team USA for one last basketball sendoff.

MN Chan/Getty Images

In recent weeks many of the NBA's top players have dropped out of the Rio Olympics this summer in Brazil, leaving the door open for people to wonder if Kobe Bryant will join the USA Olympic team for one last sendoff in Rio. That door was slammed shut today when a source close to Kobe said he will not play in the Rio Olympics, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN (h/t Grant Goldberg of Lakers Outsiders).

It would be gratifying for Kobe to finish off his basketball career winning an Olympic gold medal rather than a 17-65 season, but having said that, maybe not even a gold medal can beat his 60-point performance in-front of adoring Lakers fans in Los Angeles. There's something special about that game against the Utah Jazz being the last time Kobe will ever play, it adds to the Black Mamba's legacy. It wouldn't be fitting to see Bryant in uniform again after famously saying "Mamba out." Especially a uniform which isn't purple and gold.

Now we've confirmed the Mamba is out of the Rio Olympics, along with several other key players for the USA team which includes John Wall, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Anthony Davis. Most notably Stephen Curry announced Monday he will skip the Olympics to heal his knee and ankle.

You can follow this author on Twitter @bryantfreese

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