Kobe Bryant was booed early and often at the Staples Center last night, en route to pouring in 45 points in the Lakers’ 95-93 opening night loss to Houston.  “”I understand where they’re coming from,” Bryant told the LA Times’ Mike Bresnahan. “They didn’t really understand the whole situation because I’m keeping my mouth shut like I should.”

I’m not sure what part of visiting 3 talk radio shows in one June afternoon constitutes “keeping my mouth shut”, but perhaps Kobe has a different way of defining things. Like, consensual sex.

ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd, a morning host generally disinclined to give a hoot about an NBA regular season game, was apoplectic Wednesday about Bryant’s ill-treatement.

“Some people don’t understand sacrifice,” muttered Cowherd. “They don’t have any idea what it takes to be the very best. When someone is the best at what they do, they deserve support.”

“I admire people who are the best at what they do,” continued Cowherd. “I don’t sympathize with management. I’m on the side of the guy who is the best at his job.  If you’ve proven you can be a great mortgage broker at more than one company, I’m on your side. If you’re the best chemical salesman, I’m on your side.”

Perhaps unmoved by Cowherd’s comparison of the NBA’s best player to a chemical salesman, one caller opined that Bryant was unworthy of fan support “because he can have any woman he wants. He doesn’t have to rape someone.”

“Dude,” scolded Cowherd, “he was never convicted.  You sound like you’re twelve.”

Around the time Cowherd began yelling about Larry Bird and Dr. J. having fathered children out of wedlock, I’d heard enough.  Is it a wild reach to presume that Cowherd  — his pinhead having failed to puncture the glass ceiling at the WWL — sees just a little of himself in Kobe Bryant?  That the morning motormouth considers his post-dawn meanderings the broadcasting equivalent of dropping 81 points on the Raptors?