On the heels of Kobe Bryant announcing his retirement from the NBA after the 2015-16 season, USA Basketball is taking a look back at some of Bryant’s greatest moments while playing for his country.
Overall, Bryant is 26-0 with three gold medals at major, international competitions with USA Basketball, including a gold medal at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship and the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
The 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, which was played from Aug. 22-Sept. 2 in Las Vegas, was Bryant’s first tournament with USA Basketball.
Pictured here celebrating in 2007 with USA teammate LeBron James, Byrant (10) actually celebrated his 29th birthday during the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship with a win over the U.S. Virgin Islands on Aug. 23.
At the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, which qualified the top two finishing teams for the 2008 Olympic Games, Bryant averaged 15.3 points and 2.9 assists per game to help the USA earn a spotless 10-0 record and the gold medal.
Bryant set a U.S. men’s Olympic qualifying tournament single-game record with nine made free throws against Mexico on Aug. 27, 2007.
During the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, Bryant had his best outing of 27 points in the USA’s win over Argentina on Aug. 30, 2007. The performance tied him with Carmelo Anthony for the fourth-most points in a game in U.S. men’s Olympic qualifying tournament history.
Bryant’s average of 15.3 points per game in 2007 is the sixth-most points averaged by a U.S. men’s player in Olympic qualifying tournament history.
Additionally, Bryant shot 87.2 percent (34-39 FTs) from the line, which is the second-best competition percentage in U.S. men’s Olympic qualifying tournament history.
After helping the USA to qualify for the Olympics with his impressive performance at the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship, Bryant next took the court with USA Basketball in Beijing at the 2008 Olympic Games.
In 2008, Bryant averaged 15.0 points and 2.1 assists per game to help the USA to a perfect, 8-0 record as he collected his first Olympic gold medal.
Bryant enters the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.
Against Australia in the 2008 Olympic quarterfinals, Bryant led the USA to a win with 25 points, to record his highest scoring night during the tournament.
Bryant played a crucial role in the USA’s gold medal win over Spain at the 2008 Olympic Games – hitting several key shots on his way to 20 points, including a four-point play that helped the USA fight off Spain in the final minutes.
While it did not land on a game day at the 2008 Olympics, Bryant celebrated his birthday with USA Basketball for a second-straight year as he turned 30 years old.
In the U.S. men’s single-competition Olympic record book, Bryant’s 53 3-point field goals attempted in 2008 list second and his 17 made 3s in 2008 are tied for third.
He also lists third for U.S. men’s Olympic single-competition field goals attempted with 104 in 2008.
Bryant became one of 15 U.S. men’s basketball players to suit up in two Olympic Games when he returned for the 2012 London Olympics.
Bryant averaged 12.1 points per game to help the USA to an 8-0 record and the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Facing Australia in the 2012 Olympic quarterfinals, Bryant helped the USA advance to the semifinals by making six 3 pointers on his way to team-leading 20 points.
At the 2012 Olympics, Bryant again reached the top-five in U.S. Olympic single-competition 3-point history – making 17 3s to match his 2008 output and again tying for third in the U.S. history books
In 2012, Bryant shot one less 3-pointer than he did in 2008, and his 52 3-point attempts list third in U.S. men’s Olympic single-competition history.
Including 5-0 exhibition records prior to the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, Bryant is 36-0 all-time in international competition.
All 36 of Bryant’s USA Basketball wins came under the guidance of 2006-2016 USA Men’s National Team head coach Mike Krzyzewski. In this picture, Bryant and Krzyzewski celebrate the USA’s 2012 Olympic gold medal.
Kobe Bryant on the 2012 Olympic gold medal podium.
USA Basketball Celebrates Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant (Aug. 23, 1978 - Jan. 26, 2020)