L.A. Times: The game is the same, as is the goal: win it all and bring home a gold medal from the Beijing Summer Games. Kobe Bryant sat down with The Times on Sunday to talk about Team USA before departing for New York, where he and his U.S. teammates — including Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade — will be formally introduced during a promotional tour.
Question: On a team full of stars on their respective teams, how does each find his individual role?
Answer: It’s actually pretty easy. It’s not necessarily about roles or what have you. It’s just playing basketball. A lot of philosophies that we play with on the Lakers is the same thing we do here. Just hit the open man when you have the opportunity, make it quick. If not, you just move the ball and try to get an open shot.
Q: Is it up to each player to find his own role?
A: Everybody’s offensively talented, so whatever situation you find yourself in, you can make something out of it. So it’s just about, if you’re open and you have the opportunity, you take advantage of it. We all have well-rounded offensive games where we can take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.
Q: What did it mean to you when Coach Mike Krzyzewski at the start of Saturday’s practice played the video of Marvin Gaye performing the national anthem?
A: I had seen it many times before, being in L.A., because that’s where it took place. I had seen it time and time before, but to see it in that context, as far as us using it as our song, it put it in a little bit of a different light because you have more of an appreciation and it hit home a little bit more.