Once again, the United States has a gold medal in Olympic basketball, and the natural order of the roundball world remains intact.
When it was over, Kobe Bryant acknowledged Sunday's game against Spain was his Team USA swan song. "This is it for me," he said. "The other guys are good to go."
It's an exit for Bryant on the international stage (or at least the stage of international competition -- watching his reception in London shows Kobe's career as an international superstar isn't ending anytime soon), where he had a great deal of success. It also foreshadows what's coming, domestically. More than once this summer, Kobe has made reference to playing two or three more years, not necessarily beyond, meaning significant moments like one last gold-medal game are no longer on some distant horizon. His last All-Star Game, his last in the Garden, his last time in front of the home fans, his last playoff game, and so on. READ MORE