"Kobe," Colangelo said, "was Kobe when he needed to be."
Yet neither he nor Coach K — the two "old-school" guys — will be there in 2016. LeBron James, who stepped forward in a leadership role even as Bryant stepped back, wasn't sure whether he'd be in Rio de Janeiro four years from now, either. But he agreed that if this was the last Olympic go-round for him, too, it couldn't have gone much better.
"We've had a great ride. We had ups and downs, but the best thing about it is we had more ups than we had downs," he said. "And I'm happy to be on the floor with such a great and legendary coach.'
Kevin Durant, on the other hand, is almost certain to return. And he knows exactly what he'll miss most: Krzyzewski's even — make that mostly even — temperament.
"We come back to the bench, we might have a bad stretch giving up seven or eight points in a row. He keeps us calm. That's what we need from our coach. He's just the coolest guy in the world."
Jim Litke is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at jlitke(at)ap.org and follow him at Twitter.com/JimLitke.