Kobe Bryant '85 percent' likely to play vs. Mavericks in season opener

Bryant's foot is hurt. (Getty Images)

Update: SI.com reports from Lakers practice, where Bryant told reporters the odds are "85 percent" that he will play. Color me shocked, which is probably a shade of green.


You're going to have to forgive me, I've just heard this one so much. 

Kobe Bryant missed the final two preseason games with a foot injury. He was listed as questionable last week for the season opener Tuesday night vs. Dallas. Now comes word from Yahoo Sports that not only is he officially listed as questionable for the game, but that Bryant himself is "unsure' if he'll play. From Yaho Sports: 

Lakers coach Mike Brown called Bryant a game-time decision for Tuesday night. Bryant has not played or practiced since straining his right foot in an exhibition game against the Sacramento Kings on Oct. 21. He didn't speak with reporters after Monday's practice.

"He's a tough, tough cookie," Brown said. "He's been through a lot and bounced back quickly from a lot of stuff. You know it had to be serious with him being out this long. I said, 'Hey, we got to have other guys step up. We have to have other guys ready to play.' I don't think Dallas is going to postpone this game if he isn't healthy."

Even Bryant isn't sure yet whether he will play, sources close to him said Monday night.

via Lakers unsure Kobe Bryant will play in opener - Yahoo! Sports.

This is exactly what Bryant does. There's always the talk that he could miss the game, and then miraculously he plays through it and scores 30 and everyone wonders how he could do it. I'm not disputing that hes genuinely hurt, I'm sure it is. I'm disputing that Bryant's only borderline-psychopathic drive to compete will let him miss a game if he's not physically missing a limb. 

There's always the chance, though, that this one is more painful, more serious, enough of a problem to keep him out, which would certainly change the Lakers' dynamic. It would let Steve Nash get acquainted with Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard, give Jodie Meeks a chance to get some confidence in the rotation. 

But count me as one who will have to see Bryant miss a game when the season's not already wrapped up to believe he'll sit this one out, especially against a rival Dallas who swept him two years ago. Doesn't seem like something he'd do. 

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Moore's colleagues have been known to describe him as a "maniac" in terms of his approach to covering the NBA, which he has done for CBS Sports since 2010. Moore prides himself on melding reporting,... Full Bio

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