Kobe Bryant is getting flak from some NBA fans who noticed he was the only Lakers player on the court Tuesday who WASN'T wearing special socks to honor U.S. troops ... and now, we know why.
The NBA is allowing players to wear special designed red, white and blue socks as part of Hoops for Troops week ... which runs from Nov. 3rd to the 11th.
The socks are optional for players ... but it seems only two players in the Lakers vs. Nuggets game opted out ... Kobe and Jameer Nelson.
But our NBA sources tell us ... Kobe wasn't trying to make a political statement -- he simply prefers to wear quarter-length socks and the Hoops for Troops socks were only available in crew length.
So, don't worry ... Kobe doesn't hate America -- he just likes to be comfortable.