Dwight Howard will make his first appearance on the Lakers’ home floor in a Houston uniform Wednesday night, when the Rockets visit Staples Center.
“I think he’s not going to expect a great [reception], I think that’s fair to say,” said Lakers center/forward Pau Gasol after practice Tuesday.
Howard spent an uncomfortable season in Los Angeles last year, following a summer trade to the Lakers from the Orlando Magic.
After a slow start, the Lakers’ finished 45-37 but were swept out of the playoffs by the San Antonio Spurs. Kobe Bryant (Achilles) sat out the postseason, putting the Lakers’ at a significant disadvantage against the Spurs.
Howard moved on in July, signing with the Rockets despite the Lakers offering a larger contract to stay.
When Howard visited the Clippers in November, the home crowd booed him consistently throughout the game.
The All-Star center will undoubtedly hear it from the crowd on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it will be too, too positive,” said Jordan Farmar. “I think they’ll let him feel how they feel, especially after a frustrating year.”
The Rockets recently climbed to third place in the Western Conference with a 36-17 record. Injuries have decimated the Lakers, knocking the team down to the bottom in the West at 18-35.