For Kobe Bryant it’s all about representing the United States and winning gold in London. Nothing else matters. That being said, it hasn’t been a memorable Olympics for KB10 at least not from an individual standpoint. His shot has been off, his defense a bit shaky and Kobe’s overall impact (destruction of Nigerian not withstanding) has been very limited.
There was even some blasphemous talk amongst media types of benching Bryant.
No chance of that of that happening though. And just to remind the world he’s still here Kobe did work in Team USA’s 119-86 victory over Australia.
Don’t be fooled by the final score, the Aussies hung around long enough to awaken the beast that is Bryant. With ice water pumping through his veins and a killer instinct still unrivaled in all of the hoops universe, Bryant buried Australia beneath a barrage of three pointers.
After a quite first half, Kobe went off with six bombs from deep in the second half including three straight in the fourth quarter that took any remaining drama out of the game.
Bryant’s fourth helped pave the way as the USA outscored the pesky Australians 35-16 in the final frame.
Backing Bryant were five more members of Team USA in double figures including 17 from Carmelo Anthony and 18 from Deron Williams both of whom came off the bench. Oh…and some guy named LeBron James put an Oscar Robertson in the box score too.
Before tonight it had been King James playing the Kobe Bryant role of closer. Tonight we saw a more natural reversal of roles with Kobe closing and LeBron doing everything else.
Australia got another big night from Patty Mills who led all scorers with 26 but in the end he couldn’t contend with all the guards the red, white and blue rotated in and out.
For Team USA it’s one step closer to the ultimate goal of gaining gold. Next on the agenda are Friday’s semifinals where the U.S. takes on Argentina for the second time this week. The winner gets the right to play for gold taking on whoever emerges from the Spain-Russia battle.