That was one of the many questions for The Times' Lakers blogger Eric Pincus and NBA editor Barry Stavro during their Google+ hangout Tuesday morning, just hours before the Lakers' season opener against Dallas at 7:30 p.m.
Bryant hasn't practiced or played since sustaining a right foot strain Oct. 21, but as Pincus says, the Lakers superstar "likes to play in pain." So it's not a question of can he play, it's should he play?
"If he's going to be fine and he just has to play with a bruised foot, he'll play," Pincus said. "But if it's going to mean he's going to have no strength, no quickness and it really needs to heal and it's going to get worse, then he won't."
Pincus' gut tells him Bryant will not play.
The guys also discussed the Lakers' dismal exhibition season, the new All-Star lineup and more. Check out the entire hangout above.