ESPN: Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant is taking a break from basketball this summer.
In an interview with AOL Fanhouse on Monday, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Bryant, as well as every other player on the 2008 Olympic team except for Deron Williams and Chris Paul, will not compete in the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.
“It’s a combination of three things: free agency, injuries and having gone hard for a long time,” Colangelo said. “And I’m OK with that.”
Bryant had not decided whether he would play before leaving for South Africa to attend the World Cup, but hinted it was time for a break after his exit interview two weeks ago.
“We’ve been in the Finals now three years in a row,” he said. “We’ve been playing a great deal of basketball, so, this summer for me is about getting healthy. I think that will give us the best opportunity to defend our title again.”