The Olympics are just around the corner, so what better time to remember Lakers’ superstar, Kobe Bryant’s majestic performance in the Finals of the 2008 Olympics
Despite not having any Los Angeles Lakers on the actual Olympic team, the Purple and Gold were well represented by having three players — Julius Randle, D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram — serve as members of the USA Select Team.
That said, Kobe Bryant’s impressive performance during the 2008 Olympics in the Championship Game against Pau Gasol and Spain, still resonates to this day.
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Hitting clutch shots throughout the game, none more impressive than his four-point play conversion over Rudy Fernandez, Kobe helped lead the USA back to the winner’s circle, a relief after a disappointing bronze medal finish in 2004.
Riding the momentum of his first and only MVP award the season prior, along with the added heartbreak of losing the NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics the year before, Kobe served as the vocal leader of the Redeem Team along with LeBron James.
With the older stars likely to hang it up after this Olympic campaign, the young Lakers are in prime position to headline the team in 2020.
Even with their gutted roster — no LeBron James, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry, Kawhi Leonard — Team USA is still dominating their completion, with four easy victories over China, Venezuela and Argentina.
In regards to the Lakers, the Purple and Gold will be represented on Brazil and Spain by veteran point guards Marcelo Huertas and Jose Calderon respectively.
Team USA are still heavy favorites at 1/10, with the next closest competition being Spain and France at 10/1, followed by Brazil (25/1) and Argentina (35/1).
On a side note, Spain will go without Marc Gasol which makes the odds that much more understandable.