Bryant hears it from the home crowd at start, but cheers soon come and he finishes with 45 points in loss. Late run can’t erase Rockets’ effort.
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L.A. Times: It was a game of firsts, some of them infinitely more surprising than others.
That the Lakers lost their first game of the season to the Houston Rockets, 95-93, wasn’t as startling as another event that took place Tuesday at Staples Center.
Kobe Bryant was booed, loudly, on his home court during pregame introductions, perhaps only a one-game reminder from fans that he was their darling as recently as six months ago, but also possibly a harbinger of things to come if the losses begin to collect this season.
There were loud cheers when Derek Fisher was introduced after three years away from the Lakers, but the boos continued for Bryant when he touched the ball for the first time.
Undoubtedly, it surprised him, even if he kept it to himself. His pregame prediction on the fan reaction: “I don’t think it will be any different.”
Afterward, Bryant said he could comprehend their frustration.
“I understand where they’re coming from,” he said. “They didn’t really understand the whole situation because I’m keeping my mouth shut like I should.”
Coach Phil Jackson was caught off guard.
“I turned to one of my coaches and said, ‘Are those boos?’ And one of them said, ‘Yeah, those are boos,’ ” Jackson said. “I was surprised.”