After finding out earlier in the week that the Lakers would travel to Chicago to play the Bulls on Christmas, we found out this morning that the purple and gold will kick off their season against the Houston Rockets, according to Dave McMenamin.
In another game on the calendar with reunion implications, L.A. will open the season against the Houston Rockets, according to sources. Bryant was injured for all four of the Lakers’ games against Houston last season in Dwight Howard‘s first campaign with the Rockets after spurning L.A. in free agency last summer.
The full schedule will be released at 6:00 PM Eastern today, but the match-up against the Rockets will be one of the premier games of the season, and certainly will not be short for story lines.
On one hand, you have the super villain in Dwight Howard. No active player is despised more by the Lakers fan base than Howard, who turned down tens of millions of dollars to join the Rockets and leave the Lakers hanging. With more stories of Howard’s attitude and treatment of the beloved Kobe Bryant coming out, Howard’s villain status continues grow.
Further fueling the rivalry was this summer’s trade of Jeremy Lin to the Lakers. Looking to clear cap space, Daryl Morey packaged Lin with a first round pick and sent him to the Lakers. This came after controversy surrounding Carmelo Anthony‘s recruitment to Houston. In effort to persuade Anthony to come to Houston, the Rockets staff photoshopped Anthony into a jersey with Lin’s number.
What this all means is an emotional atmosphere in the Staples Center on opening night. Let us know below how you think the opening night will end up for the Lakers?