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Andrew Bynum apologizes for hit on J.J. Barea

May 10, 2011, 1:19 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four Getty Images

Here’s the thing about Andrew Bynum — he’s one of the more introspective Lakers. He’s thoughtful, an avid reader, a genuinely good kid, but at times acts like a 23-year-old. An immature 23-year-old.

And when the frustration over the Lakers loss boiled over, he acted immaturely. At best.

At his exit interview Tuesday, he apologized for the cheap hit on J.J. Barea at the end of Game 4, from Mike Trudell at

Number one, I want to apologize for my actions at the start of the 4th quarter in Dallas in Game 4. They don’t represent me, my upbringing, this franchise, or any of the Laker fans out there that want to watch us and watch us succeed. Furthermore and more importantly, I want to actually apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I’m just glad he wasn’t seriously injured in the event, and all I could say is, I looked at it, it’s terrible and it definitely won’t happen again. I went and I watched it, and it was terrible. Sometimes you just have to man up and own it, and that’s what happened. It’s that simple.

It’s a start. Doesn’t take the act away, and he should get a healthy fine and suspension from the league at the start of next season for it.

But Bynum is not a bad guy. And he may be maturing, even if he is learning some of those lessons the hard way.

  1. silk32 - May 10, 2011 at 1:29 PM

    Size is a premium in the NBA and the Lakers have two highly skilled 7 footers in Gasol and Bynum. The Lakers’ “embarrassment of riches” is almost unfair and they have been slapping other teams in league for the past few years and receiving all of the accoutrements of their success. Meanwhile, the rest ot the NBA has congratulated them on their success and worked to get better. But when the shoe is on the other foot, the Lakers can’t take it. What is Bynum apologizing for . . . being a coward? >>

    No way would the media have reacted so indifferently if one of the Mavericks had imploded and gone after Bynum or Kobe in that manner.

  2. jjared1101 - May 10, 2011 at 1:32 PM

    He is probably sorry because his reputation has just taken a big hit. Enough with him being an immature 23 year old. There are plenty of 23 year olds out there that wouldn’t do something like that. He’s a man, as shown by his macho man display of taking his shirt off. He wasn’t concerned for Barea’s well being. He’s got everyone in the league talking bad about him and NOW he’s sorry. I didn’t hear him saying he was sorry after the game. You get Magic Johnson, Jerry West, and other talking bad about you, you start to change your tune.

    I’m sure he’s “not a bad guy” when the media talks to him or hangs out with him in the locker room. But, just like many have said, he showed his true colors. This wasn’t his first time to do something like this. Just ask Michael Beasely and Gerald Wallace.

    • tsi4431 - May 10, 2011 at 2:42 PM

      It has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with temper. Lots of hot heads in every sport. The NBA is no different.

      Here is a link to the most notable brawls in NBA history.

      My personal favorite Tree Rollins bites Danny Ainge’s finger in 1983.

      • weezilgirl - May 10, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        Are you forgetting Jeff VanGundy throwing himself onto Alzono’s leg and biting him, during a brawl? That was the highlight of my watching VanGundy “coach”.

  3. trueballs - May 10, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    “But Bynum is not a bad guy. And he may be maturing, even if he is learning some of those lessons the hard way.”

    Orlando…you are just going to love your new center! Slightly less mentally stable and definitely less physically stable than Howard

  4. zblott - May 10, 2011 at 1:38 PM

    I’m really hoping that now that he’s apologized, he then doesn’t try to appeal whatever fine or suspension he gets. When players do that, they look extremely fake and disingenuous.

  5. goforthanddie - May 10, 2011 at 2:37 PM

    He’s not a nice guy, he’s a little punk. He couldn’t handle getting his ass kicked. Enjoy your suspension.

  6. cosanostra71 - May 10, 2011 at 2:58 PM

    I’m a huge Lakers fan, and a huge Bynum fan at that. I don’t condone what he did- it was temper and frustration that boiled over, and he made a mistake. But let he without sin cast the first stone- Bynum has throughout his career been a very humble player who has had great sportsmanship. I don’t think this is an indictment of his character at all. He made a mistake, but I firmly believe he will learn from it and grow from it. Everyone makes mistakes- for example Jason Kidd is in general a good person, but he’s been arrested for domestic violence. I believe this because of how great of a work ethic he has. Yes, he’s made of glass, but everytime he’s had an injury setback, he’s worked hard to get healthy, and get better while he’s healing. He’s gotten better every year he’s been in the NBA. Rather than let these injuries get him down, he uses them to get better. I think his work ethic shows that at heart he is a good person.

  7. hoopsmccann - May 10, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Boy some people forget how emotional playoff basketball is and what it was like in the 80s, you know, the Golden Age of Hoops. Anyone remember Danny Ainge biting Tree Rollins, McHale clotheslining Rambis, Dr J punching out Larry Bird in the face while he was being held by other players, Shaq throwing a punch at a Chi player that might have killed him if it connected, Robert Parish punching Bill Laimbeer, Kevin Johnson throwing a punch at Magic etc.? AND THESE ARE HALL OF FAMERS! They were all cheap shots and unnecessary but I don’t remember any of these incidents hurting any of their careers or their legacys, “or their reputations taking a big hit”. Smaller players weren’t allowed to drive the paint with impunity without eventually being sent a message, it was the bigs job to do so and they’d get benched if they didn’t do anything! The guards were well aware of the price that they might pay by driving once too often. I’m not saying that it’s right but it has been part of the game for a long time. Have some perspective.

    And Bynum wasn’t the only one to show his immaturity. Everyone seems to also forget that it appeared that Nowitski was mouthing off to Odom and Barrea, the littlest guy in the NBA, jumped in to “protect” Witski and got in Odom’s face and showed him up in front of the world. Do you really think Barrea would get in Odom’s face if they were in the parking lot? He knew he could act big and show Odom up and get away with it and that’s what he did. And then he immediately tries to show up Bynum by driving for a layup when the game was long ago decided. That also shows immaturity so he’s not completely blameless, and I guess he didn’t get away with it either, did he? But as you say, Bynum did show his immaturity as well – he should have drove through Barrea with his LEFT forearm and blocked the shot with his right. Before guards were babied it would have been a simple 2 shot foul.

    Congratulations Dallas, you played incredibly all 4 games. I hope you win the title.

    • jjared1101 - May 10, 2011 at 4:23 PM

      This is not 1980.

      And taking a hard foul on someone is not the same as intentionally elbowing the smallest guy on the court when he is most vulnerable. And Bynum has done this before in NON playoff games. So it’s not like he’s only done this one time in a playoff battle. He wan’t protecting the paint, he was trying to hurt Barea. And then he showed no remorce for it after the play and after the game.

      So what if Dirk was “mouthing” off to Odom. Who’s to say Odom wasn’t “mouthing” off to him first. And this isn’t a parking lot, it’s a basketball game and the Lakers forgot that was the reason they were there. To play basketball. Not act like bushleague sore losers.

      Go watch the Barea replay again and tell me how close Blake was guarding Barea. You don’t want Barea driving the paint or, you know, actually playing the game of basketball, don’t pressure him like the game is tied.

      • cosanostra71 - May 10, 2011 at 9:33 PM

        You referred to multiple incidents. As a Lakers fan who watches many games, I have not seen these displays by Bynum before. What incidents in particular are you referring to?

      • jjared1101 - May 10, 2011 at 10:24 PM

        March 18th Michale Beasely

        January 09′ Gerald Wallace-

  8. hoopsmccann - May 10, 2011 at 3:14 PM

    Oh, thanks for the Link tsi4431 –

    It highlights my point. I got the one with Ainge and Rollins mixed up as to who bit who. Danny looked so much like a spoiled brat kid that I forgot it was Rollins that did the biting, not him. LOL

  9. florida727 - May 10, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    I really hope he gets suspended for half of next season. The more you watch the replay, from different angles, the one from underneath the basket the most telling, this was the cheap shot of all cheap shots. Berea is lucky he’s still upright on this side of the sod. Shows how tough he is. Bynum showed his true color all right. And “zblott” was right on when he said if Bynum challenges the fine or the suspension, then you’ll know some slick-talking lawyer wrote his apology for him. It won’t have been genuine.

    • steelerdynasty2010 - May 11, 2011 at 10:34 AM

      did anyone watch the apology…complete with a smirk and sarcastic tone? one of the most insincere things i’ve ever seen

  10. ezwriter69 - May 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM

    Save your breath, man, you’re two days late and no one on earth believes this is anything but a lame attempt to save what little is left of your image and respect. Your comments after the game told us who you are loud and clear, that’s how people think of you now, live with it.
    I hope they trade you to Minnesota.

  11. ezwriter69 - May 10, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    hoopsmccann, none of those incidents happened with a 36 point deficit and down 3-0 with five minutes left in the failed season… those were heat of the moment incidents, this was anything but… in fact, there WAS no heat from ANY Laker in ANY moment this entire season, certainly not from Bynum.
    The only comparable was Isaiah and the classless Pistons slinking off the court to avoid having to shake Mike’s hand, and even LameBeer didn’t clothesline BJ Armstrong on his way off the court.

  12. torotrigger - May 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM

    he shoulda said nothing and just shrugged his shoulders – no need to apologize for that hit, its basketball and his team was a bout to be eliminated from the playoffs – badly. hes not a dirty player, he didnt punch him (kinda) – does he deserve a suspension for next year? definitely – 5 game minimum. a high fine? sure, make it 100k that goes directly to Barea. but whatever, at some point there has to be a competitive line that snaps when you are getting embarrassed by a team owned by Mark Cuban….that sucks.

    • jjared1101 - May 10, 2011 at 5:01 PM

      What part of that play when Bynum elbows him and makes no play on the ball is considered “basketball?” Again, history of prior incidents would show that he is indeed a dirty player.

  13. thestudiokida - May 10, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    RACE CRIMES!!! First Odom attack a defenseless Nowitzke and then Bynum takes out Berea? Stone cold racism is all that is.

  14. otisls - May 10, 2011 at 7:11 PM

    in each situation, Bynum put his elbow into the chest of his opponent (Wallace, Beasley, Barea) while they were in mid-air risking injury to that player; apology not accepted; this behavoir is unacceptable and the league needs to make an example of Bynum; fine and suspension needs to be very painful;

  15. 1historian - May 10, 2011 at 7:39 PM

    It was nothing less than a flat out cheap shot. It was the most no-class move I can remember seeing for a long time, and the fact that he was only fined $25,000 and suspended for 5 games next season is disgraceful.

    These are the people the NBA wants us to spend (a lot of) our hard-earned money to see.

    Not a chance

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