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Kobe Bryant believes USA Basketball no longer assured of victories in the international stage

by Jim Lemuel Wilson, September 14, 2019 11:52am

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kobe Bryant believes that the days when Team USA is always guaranteed to win the gold is long past and the team will have tough challenges ahead of them with or without the best players in the team.

Speaking with Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press, Bryant said that the rest of the world has long caught up to the level of talent and play of Team USA.

“It’s not a matter of the rest of the world catching up to the U.S. It’s that the rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time,” Bryant said. “It’s to the point now where the U.S., we’re going to win some and we’re going to lose some. That’s just how it goes.”

“We’re going to have our challenges for the next team, whether it’s Redeem 2 or whatever you want to call it,” Bryant continued. “No matter what team it is, it’s not going to be easy.”

Bryant also recalled how The Redeem Team of 2008 needed some late fourth-quarter heroics for them to pull out a 118-107 victory over Spain in the Gold Medal game of the Olympics. That team was loaded with talents like Bryant, LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Kidd, Chris Bosh, and Chris Paul, among others.

“We needed a hell of a fourth quarter to beat Spain,” Bryant said. “And that was a hell of a team we had. We still needed a really late push to beat Spain. So I say that to say, put the best players that you think makes the best U.S. team out there on the floor and we are still going to have challenges. It’s not going to be a cakewalk.”

Team USA can place only as high as seventh in the ongoing 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

“The days of the 1992 Barcelona Dream Team are gone, over. It’s going to be tough,” Byrant declared.

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