Bryant insists glory for US tops anything achieved in storied career with Lakers LA Lakers star Kobe Bryant wore his heart on his sleeve yesterday when he confessed that winning a gold medal for his country would mean more to him than any NBA title. The 29-year-old reigning NBA MVP already has three championship rings but says gold from Beijing would surpass anything he has achieved in the game. 'A gold medal is different because you're playing for your country. There is more at stake I think,' said Bryant. 'When you're playing for an NBA championship you're obviously playing for a brand, you're playing for whatever motivates you, to prove people wrong or whatever it is. 'You put on the USA uniform and you're playing for something that's bigger than all of that. You're representing your country. 'It's one country up against the other one to prove who's best at this game. To me that holds more weight.' Bryant has come to Macau off a stellar NBA season. He led the Lakers to the finals and picked up his first league MVP title after averaging 28.3 points per game. He was one of the star performers for Team USA during last week's training camp, and said their 120-65 blow-out of Canada last Friday had everyone pumped up. 'We got up and down and moved the ball well, so it was great,' said Bryant. 'The offence that we had was so fluid and so versatile I don't think there were any problems whatsoever. The biggest challenge for us is finding that rhythm and cohesiveness on the defensive end.' The Americans take on Turkey tomorrow and Lithuania on Friday and, with an abundance of all-star talent in the US squad, Bryant said he felt for coach Mike Krzyzewski. 'The challenge that he's facing is to find what combination works best with what and at what time of the day,' he said. 'It's a position that I certainly don't envy.' Bryant has been struggling with a right-hand finger injury and revealed yesterday it would require surgery - but the Olympics come first. 'It's OK. It's a little sore but it's all right,' said Bryant. 'As soon as I get back we'll go in and talk about it, do it and then get ready for the season. I've heard it will be around three weeks, four week, five weeks. I heal pretty fast normally.' And while basketball will be his main concern in Beijing, Bryant - who spent part of his youth in Italy - said he was hoping to catch some soccer during the Games, particularly a game involving Brazil. 'They are all fabulous athletes,' he said. 'And I'm glad they are playing soccer not basketball.'