Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes that Kobe Bryant will be catching up on his rest and relaxation this summer, rather than competing for Team USA in the FIBA World Championships.
In an interview with AOL Fanhouse on Monday, USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo said Bryant, as well as every other player on the 2008 Olympic team except for Deron Williams and Chris Paul, will not compete in the FIBA World Championships in Turkey.
"It's a combination of three things: free agency, injuries and having gone hard for a long time,'' Colangelo said. "And I'm OK with that."
McMenamin notes that the announcement coincides with a statement Bryant made to reports prior to leaving for South Africa to take in World Cup action.
"We've been in the Finals now three years in a row," he said. "We've been playing a great deal of basketball, so, this summer for me is about getting healthy. I think that will give us the best opportunity to defend our title again."