Kobe Bryant on Team USA: “The days of 1992 are over”

2019-09-13T14:11:06+00:00 2019-09-13T15:12:30+00:00.

Dionysis Aravantinos

13/Sep/19 14:11


The world has caught up to the USA according to Kobe Bryant

By Dionysis Aravantinos / info@eurohoops.net

BEIJING – FIBA Global Ambassador and NBA legend, Kobe Bryant addressed the media of the Basketball World Cup, in a 20-minute press conference in Wukesong Arena.

Bryant was asked about the 2019 Team USA team, and if a second redeem team could occur in the following years: “I hear that a lot – did we send the best possible team that could come out here?” Bryant said. “The Redeem Team, we needed a hell of a fourth quarter to beat Spain. … Put the best players that you think are going to make the best U.S. team out on the floor – it’s still not going to be a cakewalk. The days of 1992 are over.” 

“The rest of the world has been caught up for quite some time. It’s to the point where us in the U.S. are going to win some, going to lose some. There’s just great basketball being played. Whether it’s Redeem [team] two, no matter what team it is, it’s not going to be easy. It’s not a matter of the rest of the world catching up to the U.S.” 

Moreover, when asked by Eurohoops on what new challenge he can give Giannis Antetokounmpo with the Greek national team, he said that the Greek Freak should inspire the younger generation of Greece, as Vasilis Spanoulis and Dimitris Diamantidis did before him: “The challenge there is how you inspire the next generation of athletes. That’s the challenge. Can you inspire a country to fall in love with the game, as much as he’s fallen in love with the game? That’s the true testament for Giannis going forward. As a country, typically Greece, when we played in 2008, they were one of the opponents we marked on the calendar, because how Spanoulis and Diamantidis handled us in the years prior. Greece has a rich history of basketball tradition, and now they have a guy who’s one of the best basketball players in the world. It’s a matter of building around that and going from there”. 

Bryant was also asked about many national teams, such as Serbia, Lithuania, and the Czech Republic, and had great words to say. He expressed his love for Nikola Jokic’s game, and also shared the fact that Bogdan Bogdanovic is one of his favorite young NBA players. As for Marc Gasol reaching the FIBA Basketball World Cup final with Spain, Kobe shared a story about how he met Pau’s brother: “I met Marc when he was 13 years old. It’s crazy to see how far he’s come.” 

Finally, he had a few laughs with the media members, when asked about Argentina: “I don’t know why you ask me about Argentina, because if there wasn’t a Manu Ginobili, I might have about 10 rings.”