This question has a lot of answers. In what may be Kobe Bryant’s final season in the NBA, when does Kobe play? is a question Lakers coach Byron Scott will need to answer on a nightly basis — as he tries to dish out minutes to keep Bryant at maximum efficiency. It’s a question the other Lakers will need a steady answer to also, so they know what to expect. That makes Scott’s job even harder, because Bryant’s high skill level can mask fatigue that later manifests as body breakdowns. So when does Kobe play? In the first, third and fourth quarters only? Only when the Lakers are in close games? Never in back-to-backs? More minutes during home games? Bryant’s playing time is likely to be an ongoing experiment. (See Michael Jordan v. Kobe Bryant late career comparison.)
But the happier answer to the question when does Kobe play? is 2015 and, with health and luck, 2016, too. The even more lighthearted and positive answer to when does Kobe play? is in the Lakers season opener. That’s a home game at the Staples Center on Wednesday October 28 (7:30pm PT) against the grief-stricken Minnesota Timberwolves. If Kobe Bryant is who he once was, he will wave to the crowd as it cheers him madly, salute the late Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders, and go straight for the Minnesota jugular.