Kobe Bryant has no intention of playing in the 2016 Olympics. Before his team played the Chicago Bulls on Monday night, the injured Los Angeles Lakers star met the media and said there was no chance. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, an assistant with Team USA, told reporters he might at least attempt to recruit him again, via ESPN's Dave McMenamin:
"You always try to talk him into it," Thibodeau said with a smile.
Bryant, who won back-to-back gold medals with Team USA in 2008 in Beijing and 2012 in London, said he won't be reuniting with Thibodeau in Rio.
"Nope," Bryant said. "I'll go and spectate. Maybe I'll go watch Pau [Gasol] win another silver."
Bryant said Thibodeau could "try all he wants" to convince him, via Serena Winters of Lakers Nation:
Kobe on Thibodeau convincing him to play '16 Olym.: "He can try all he wants. I love Tibs. That convers. w/ him would be more than welcome."— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) January 21, 2014
By the time the Olympics come around, Bryant will be almost 38 years old and he's accomplished more than enough in his international career, so this shouldn't be surprising.
Dirk Nowitzki plans to re-sign with Dallas for 2-3 years
Dallas Mavericks star forward Dirk Nowitzki has long maintained that he doesn't want to go anywhere. He's loyal to the organization with which he's spent his entire career and plans to re-sign as a free agent this summer, perhaps after the Mavs make other moves that require him to take a big pay cut. In an interview with Sport1 published on Monday, Nowitzki re-iterated his desire to sign a new deal for two or three years, via Sportando:
"In the summer I will be free agent and likely extend the contract for two or three years" said Nowitzki. "As long as the body supports me, it is still fun to play basketball. After the new contract I will be 38 or 39 and I will probably stop. For a few years it will work out all right."
Andrew Bogut says he's okay after banging his knee
Golden State Warriors fans were given a scare on Monday night when center Andrew Bogut and his history of knee problems limped over to the bench in the fourth quarter, then went to the locker room. Bogut re-entered the game against the Indiana Pacers just a few minutes later, but looked less than 100 percent. Fortunately, though, Bogut downplayed it after the game, via the San Francisco Chronicle's Rusty Simmons:
Andrew Bogut said he banged his left knee, but "I'm alright. I'll be fine."— Rusty Simmons (@Rusty_SFChron) January 21, 2014
Bogut finished with 10 points, 13 rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal in 31 minutes in the 102-94 loss. He has missed only one game for the Warriors this season, and that was due to suspension, not injury.
Beno Udrih requests a trade
As if the 2013-2014 New York Knicks needed more drama, their third-string point guard has reportedly requested a trade. The veteran, who signed with New York on a minimum contract last summer, has apparently communicated his desire to be moved elsewhere, via Ian Begley of ESPN.
Udrih has seen his minutes vary wildly as Knicks head coach Mike Woodson has searched for a stable rotation and players have shuffled in and out of the lineup. He has received four DNP-CD's in the past two weeks and played only garbage time minutes in New York's blowout loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Monday.
Metta World Peace won't rush return
Injured Knicks forward Metta World Peace told reporters on Monday that he does not want to rush his return to the court, saying that he will have one more blood-spinning procedure on his left knee, return to practice Tuesday and then play it by ear. World Peace was his typical quotable self when he explained that he wasn't in a hurry, via the New York Daily News' Mitch Abramson:
"I'm not going to rush," he said. "New York City is the rush everything [city]. That's life and we rush everything. Sometimes just chill and if it happens, it happens. There's no rush. Slow down the music a little bit. You're listening to too much techno. It's like sex- take your time. Where you going? Enjoy love."
World Peace has gotten injections in both knees recently and initially told reporters he'd be back in the lineup by now. New York is also without Amar'e Stoudemire and Kenyon Martin in the frontcourt because of ankle sprains.