When the Lakers locker room opened, only one player was in the room.
While his teammates showered, Kobe Bryant sat with a towel around his neck, speaking in a dejected tone about his team's disappointing performance.
The Lakers, who were 0-8 in exhibition play, lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 99-91, in their season opener Tuesday evening at Staples Center. It was a sputtering start for one of the most talked-about teams in the NBA.
"We want to execute much better offensively," Bryant said.
His usage of the word "we" was awfully kind.
Bryant was the Lakers' best player Tuesday despite his strained right foot, which he acknowledged hobbled him a bit.
"I played at probably 80, 85%," Bryant said.
For his first basket, he executed a stutter step at the free throw line, then accelerated for a layup. He continued to play aggressively, scoring each of his first six points inside the paint. He finished with 22 points on 11-for-14 shooting.