Basketball

<a href="http://topics.latimes.com/sports/people/kobe-bryant" target="blank"><b>Kobe Bryant</b></a> of the Los Angeles Lakers will make his first Olympic appearance in Beijing. The 2008 NBA MVP, 29, has said that <a href="http://sports.inquirer.net/breakingnews/breakingnews/view/20080729-151422/Olympic-gold-bigger-than-NBA-title--Bryant?rss=true" target="blank">winning a gold medal would be more important than the NBA title</a>.<br>
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"When you put on a USA uniform, you're playing for something bigger than all that," he said. "You're representing your country, and our country is going up against the other country, trying to prove who's best. For me, that holds more weight."
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( Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times )

Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers will make his first Olympic appearance in Beijing. The 2008 NBA MVP, 29, has said that winning a gold medal would be more important than the NBA title.

"When you put on a USA uniform, you're playing for something bigger than all that," he said. "You're representing your country, and our country is going up against the other country, trying to prove who's best. For me, that holds more weight."

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