Kobe Bryant an Olympian again?

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Kobe Bryant has a chance to be a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, even though he is not attending Team USA’s minicamp this week, USA Basketball Executive Director Jerry Colangelo told SheridanHoops Tuesday. “If he had a great year, it would be a great story for him to try to close out his career by winning a gold medal,” Colangelo said.

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February 14, 2016 | 12:22 pm EST Update
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ESPN’s Chris Broussard said the Heat is gauging trade interest in Whiteside, and two people in contact with the Heat told me that Miami appears open to considering a Whiteside trade, if it can dump other salary and get quality talent back, because it knows it’s going to be uncomfortably costly to keep him. Heat officials have expressed frustration with him, for reasons we explained in last Sunday’s column. But the Heat also knows the odds would be against a trade this week because he’s earning just $981,000 (causing cap complications) and the team acquiring him wouldn’t have any financial advantage in re-signing him.
Storyline: Hassan Whiteside Trade?
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If Miami can’t land a star and moves on from Whiteside, one potentially appealing scenario (my opinion here) would be moving Bosh back to center and using the $37 million on Wade and two shooters, perhaps stretch-four Ryan Anderson (averaging 16.7 points and shooting 38.3 percent on threes for New Orleans) and a wing such as Bazemore, though Miami also would need to add another backup big in this scenario, too. Word is Miami likes Anderson, incidentally.
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“No way you can imagine (this kind of career),” acknowledged Gasol, the native of Barcelona. “There was one Spanish player who played in the NBA before me, and he played briefly, Fernando Martin (24 games in 1986-87 for Portland). So it was something very hard to picture. I think it was unreachable, pretty much, at the time. But I had the opportunity; some of the scouts trusted my ability. I was drafted number three (in 2001), which rushed my decision to come. I was going to wait another year, but here we are.
Storyline: All-Star Selections
The story in some respects Sunday at the first NBA All-Star game played outside the United States is the story of the international sports icon, NBA champion and perennial All-Star who probably is playing in his last NBA All-Star game. Yes, Kobe Bryant, also. ”Just proud, proud and humbled by everything I’ve been able to accomplish,” Bulls center Pau Gasol said as he prepared for his sixth All-Star game. “I’m still playing at a very, very high level and recognized for it. I could never have dreamed of a career like this. But the fact is it’s been an incredible journey and I intend to prolong it for a few more years and I am definitely proud.
“It’s special,” Gasol said of playing in Sunday’s game. “One of the reasons I was excited to make it in the first place. I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to be present and witness that moment because Kobe is a special guy and special player and had a tremendous career and we have a unique friendship and relationship. “It’s really nice to be here and be part of the All-Star game with Kobe and the relationship we’ve developed over the years,” Gasol added. “One of my biggest disappointments of not being selected by the coaches directly was I wasn’t going to be here for that, and now that I am, I am happy to be part of this moment.”
February 14, 2016 | 9:13 am EST Update
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