Filipino Fans Reportedly Boo Dwight Howard and Chant 'Kobe' During Rockets Game

Gabe ZaldivarPop Culture Lead WriterOctober 10, 2013

Dwight Howard is still playing the part of NBA villain. At least in the Philippines, according to a report from InterAKTV's Mikkel Bolante.

Bolante reports that fans at the country's Mall of Asia Arena chided Howard with boos and even started a chant of "Kobe" during an exhibition game with the Indiana Pacers.  

Some of you might recall that things have been going far better for Howard in a Rockets jersey. He bought Rockets fans some lunch when he came down to Houston, and recently showed up to cheer on  local high school football players.

It certainly seems like Howard is doing his best to turn a corner and reshape his image. Essentially, he wants to shed the bad guy label and become the "good guy Dwight" that basketball fans loved at the outset of his career.  

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - OCTOBER 10:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets drives against Roy Hibbert #55 of the Indiana Pacers during the NBA gane at the Mall of Asia Arena on October 10, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowl
Mike Young/Getty Images

Well, fans overseas didn't get the memo, because they still seem willing to give the big man a hard time about his recent past. 

Bolante writes: 

During the Rockets’ preseason game on Thursday night against the Indiana Pacers, Howard was on the receiving end of some boos from the crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena.

There were also scattered chants of “Kobe! Kobe!” in reference to Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, with whom Howard had a clash of personality during his one season stint in Los Angeles.

SACRAMENTO, CA - MARCH 30:  Kobe Bryant #24 and Paul Gasol #16 talk with Dwight Howard #12 of the Los Angeles Lakers during a break in action against the Sacramento Kings on March 30, 2013 at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento, California. NOTE TO USER: User
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Now, to be fair, Bolante states Howard got a heaping dose of love from most Filipino fans during the team's visit. 

Commissioner David Stern also praised the fans, saying they were "rabid fans in a wonderful way," according to ESPN's report of the game. 

It goes without saying, but the chanting and booing just means international fans are falling in love with the NBA and its peripheral storylines. 

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - OCTOBER 10: A fan cheers in the game of the Houston Rockets against the Indiana Pacers during the 2013 Global Games on October 10, 2013 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and a
Bill Baptist/Getty Images

Stern continued, "The NBA is always trying to find ways to take advantage of opportunities particularly in Southeast Asia, and the Philippines lead the way."

Howard, for his part, had nine points and three rebounds in 24 minutes played, though it's unclear whether the poor performance was due to bad vibes from the crowd.

Don't worry, Howard. Rockets fans have your back—for now. 


Hit me up on Twitter