Bryant made the start at shooting guard for the team’s first preseason game in Honolulu against the Utah Jazz, playing for a total of 12 minutes. He finished the game 1 of 5 from the field for five points, knocking down a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter and making both of his free throws.
Bryant told the media after the game that he feels strong and that he's just working on getting his timing back. He says that he will be playing more minutes each game.
“The practice before, I played probably 40 minutes straight, so my back today was a little tight from all that running,” Bryant said to USA Today. “We decided to play the first 12, and look to increase it gradually with every game.”
The fans in Honolulu sold out the 10,300-seat Stan Sheriff Center to watch Bryant play. He played the entire first quarter before sitting the rest of the game.