Kobe Bryant’s legacy written beautifully…
Yahoo! Sports: The United States had been losing games like this for years.
With the 2008 Olympic gold medal on the line, the heavily favored Americans were in jeopardy of another international embarrassment. Spain had outplayed them for much of the fourth quarter, slicing the U.S. lead to five points with 3 1/2 minutes left.
They needed to respond, and with their choice of NBA superstars, the Americans kicked the ball out to Kobe Bryant.
He nailed a 3-pointer as he was fouled, pressing his finger to his lips after his follow-through as if to tell the rowdy Spanish fans behind the basket — and maybe all those U.S. basketball critics — that it was time to quiet down.
Bryant’s four-point play helped the Americans hold on, ending their eight-year gold-medal drought.
All it took was finally getting the world’s best player in uniform, someone so good he deserves to be considered among the candidates for The Associated Press’ Athlete of the Decade.
“One thing that’s been obvious throughout his career is that he’s been a fierce competitor and many people in basketball would say he’s the closest thing that we’ve seen to Michael Jordan’s competitiveness,” USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said. “And he’s a winner.”