Kobe interview

Kobe Bryant on winning the gold medal with Team USA in China:
“What I tried to do is absorb the moment as much as I could, so I looked around at Pau (Gasol), and at the Americans singing the national anthem. You get goose bumps. You hear the national anthem every night when you play in the NBA, but on that stage it was complete different. It was just a different feeling. It was way more emotional. For all of us, because it was the end of a journey we started three years ago. We kind of grew up together, focused on our game together and rallied for one common goal and got the job done. So, we’re just so excited to finally accomplish our mission.”
(Bryant later added that he has his medal draped around the MVP trophy he won last spring.)

How worried are you about wear and tear in the upcoming season?
“Not at all. None. None. I feel great. I feel fantastic. In Beijing, we had a layup line and everyone was showing off. I did a windmill dunk and I got drug-tested right after the game. True story. … (Reducing his per-game minutes) is always a goal going into a season. It was a goal last season, and I still played 40 minutes. My body feels great, whether it’s 40 minutes or 43 minutes. The finger is fine.”

On his state of mind heading into camp:
“I am happy. I have a lot to be happy about. I have a lot to be thankful for. We’ve got Andrew back healthy. We’ve got Pau here. We’ve got Lamar. D-Fish. Everybody’s here. Everybody’s ready to go. The key is to keep everybody healthy. If we can do that, then I’ll be really happy.”

On being favored to win the West:
“We’re the favorites for a reason. One of the things I tell the guys, is that we’re the favorites for a season. We’ve got all the tools here. We’ve got all the pieces to the puzzle. It’s up to us to do the work. If we do the work, then we should win it. … I’m excited. I can’t wait to get started.”