Lakers' Kobe Bryant won't try to play in the Olympics

Kobe Bryant will not try to play in the Olympics this summer in Brazil, reversing field from his desire earlier this season to maybe give it one last shot.

"I think it's the young guys' turn to play and perform," Bryant said Saturday before the Lakers played the Utah Jazz. "I've been fortunate enough to win two gold medals so I've had my moment. I'll watch from afar, I'll support from afar and if they want me to come down and speak to the guys, I will."

Bryant related a recent conversation he had with Golden State's Brazilian reserve Leandro Barbosa. The Lakers and Warriors played Thursday.

"He comes up to me and goes, 'Hey, I'll see you in Rio.' I just turned around and went, 'Nah,'" Bryant said. "As beautiful as it would be to play for our country, when I say my last game is going to be my last game [and] I'm going to retire, then that's it. I'm not going to, like, walk off the stage and then, 'Buuuut I'm going to come right back for a minute.' I think it's pretty sweet to have my final game be in a Laker uniform."

Of course, there was also the issue of whether Bryant would even make the U.S. team. And if he did, which player would have been left off the roster?

Bryant, 37, has been bothered this season by soreness in his shoulder and, more recently, his Achilles. His scoring average isn't bad (17 points before Saturday) but he is shooting only 34.8%.

The Lakers' season finale is April 13 against Utah at Staples Center.

Haunted hotel?

The distressed tweet came at almost 2 a.m. Friday.

Jordan Clarkson was, um, worried.

"Hotel haunted huh?" he wrote on Twitter, adding that his room lights were "cutting off" by themselves.

D'Angelo Russell had a similar experience at the Berkeley hotel where the Lakers stayed after losing to Golden State.

"I was washing my hands and the water turned on, so I was scared," Russell said Saturday, adding it wasn't a sensor faucet. "You were supposed to turn the knob for the water to come out. I was scared."

The Claremont Club & Spa, a luxury resort that opened in 1915, made NBA headlines in the past for its, shall we say, unusual inhabitants.

The San Antonio Spurs had a scare there last March when forward Jeff Ayres claimed to hear noises from a baby in his room before he entered it. He went downstairs, told the front desk there must already be someone in there, and was informed that wasn't the case. He got a new room, calling the experience "creepy."

Spurs teammate Tim Duncan vouched for Ayres.

"I heard a baby in his room. There was somebody or something in his room, yeah," Duncan told the San Antonio Express-News.

Clarkson promised he wasn't one to freak out easily. But he really thought the hotel was haunted too.

"The lights cut off. Not the one in the restroom, not the automatic," he said Saturday. "The top light. That's a switch thing."

Clarkson left his room for a while and eventually returned.

"I started watching movies and then finally fell asleep," he said.

He obviously didn't watch horror flicks.

"I turned on Disney Channel for a little while," he said.

The Lakers' hotel in Salt Lake City apparently wasn't haunted.

"This one's cool," Clarkson said. "I'm all right here."

LAKERS NEXT UP

VS. HOUSTON

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: Staples Center.

On the air: TV: TWC SportsNet, TWC Deportes; Radio: 710, 1330.

Records: Lakers 9-32, Rockets 21-20.

Record vs. Rockets: 0-2.

Update: Houston continues to underachieve, scoring only 77 points in a loss Friday to Cleveland. Rockets center Dwight Howard has played better in recent weeks, putting up eight consecutive double-doubles to bring up his season averages to 14.2 points and 11.9 rebounds. Forward Trevor Ariza is having a rough season and shooting only 39.2%, a career low. James Harden is second in the league in scoring at 27.6 points a game.

mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

Twitter: @Mike_Bresnahan

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
A version of this article appeared in print on January 17, 2016, in the Sports section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Bryant passing torch to next generation - LAKERS REPORT" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe
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