Pasay City, Philippines (4E Sports) – Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard felt the backlash of leaving the Los Angeles Lakers when he played in a pre-season game in the Philippines.
The Rockets won handily over the Indiana Pacers, 116-96, Thursday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, but Howard got a dose of scattered boos and “Kobe” chants.
Filipino NBA fans, many of them admirers of Kobe Bryant, made sure Howard felt their displeasure with the indecisive and immature manner some thought he conducted himself with during free agency.
Many felt Howard prolonged the courting stage by inducing the Lakers and other suitors to believe his intention to join each of those teams.
It didn’t help Howard that he struggled with nine points, five fouls and four turnovers in about 24 minutes.
He was applauded, albeit sarcastically, on his lone free throw make in four tries.
The Lakers’ reach is far and wide. Bryant has long been a popular sports figure in the Philippines, more so recently after his visit to the country in mid-August.