Coby #11 had the early lead in the on-going Kobe-on-Coby battle as he received well wishing from the home crowd just minutes after Kobe #24 heard the boo birds as he was being introduced to the capacity crowd at the STAPLES Center on opening night. But while the old saying “winning cures all” is almost always true, “dropping 45″ comes off as usually true and Coby #11 was back as second fiddle (Karl dressed instead of first round pick Javaris Crittenton as Jackson preferred his length).
The much ballyhooed booing that is being tossed around in the press today (not only did I have to hear Colleen Dominguez ask the same question 10 different ways, but I had the pleasure of listening to her recount the story on ESPN Radio this morning) lasted literally two sequences before giving way to guarded cheers and not long after that the standard “M-V-P” chants.
Yes the boos from the home crowd were shocking based on the love that the Laker Faithful have always shown Bryant through his darkest hours, but they were short lived. Even the most adamant objector would have a tough time booing a guy that goes for 45 points and 8 boards.
More important than the crowds reaction to a single player is that the Lakers are now 0-1 on the season. While that’s the only number that really matters you can get all your statistical breakdown goodness from the boys over at Forum Blue & Gold. The numbers shed an unflattering light on the second unit that played so well together in the pre-season. Their inspired play in the exhibition season can be attributed to the line changes that Phil was making. The substituion pattern that works in the pre-season (and the NHL) brought them great success, but isn’t a reality during the regular season. This unit needs to have a better performance for the Lakers to go anywhere this year.