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Andrew Bynum’s turn to be benched by Mike Brown after taking three

Mar 28, 2012, 9:27 AM EDT

bynum-flagrant-beasley

Everyone made a big deal out of Kobe Bryant being “benched” a few games ago during crunch time. That wasn’t really a benching.

What happened with Andrew Bynum Tuesday night, that was a benching. And because Bynum acted like a three year old told he couldn’t have another lollipop, this issue could linger.

It all began two minutes into the third quarter. The Lakers grabbed the ball off a Warriors miss and pushed it up court, but when nothing developed they reset the offense and Bynum came down court to join the play. When he did he got a pass out near the top of the arc and…

Bynum stepped into and took a three. Which he missed to the right. Not that it mattered, the ball probably wasn’t to the rim before coach Mike Brown had called Josh McRobert’s number and told him to check in. Bynum only played a couple of minutes the rest of the way.

The bigger issue was Bynum’s immaturity when benched — he joked and laughed about the shot, refused to join team huddles or high-five teammates coming into timeouts, and generally just sulked. Then there were his post-game comments. Via Kevin Ding of the OC Register.

“I don’t know what was bench-worthy about the shot, to be honest with you,” Bynum said. “I made one (with 1.2 seconds left in the last game, a loss to Memphis), and I wanted to make another one. I swear, that’s it. I guess he took offense to it, so he put me on the bench.”

Bynum is now 1-8 for his career from three. Do you really think he doesn’t understand why a coach doesn’t care if he takes a three at the end of an already decided game versus taking one early in the shot clock of a six-point game (at that moment) early in the third quarter? As for him not getting off the bench to be in team huddles, via ESPNLosAngeles.com.

“He took me out of the game, so I just sat where he put me,” Bynum said.

Very mature, Andrew. Combine that with his saying a few weeks back he was loafing on the court, and him getting thrown out of the game in Houston, and you start to see a little pattern.

Kobe Bryant seemed to be the only guy with some sympathy for Bynum. In part because as team leader he needs to keep Bynum engaged. But as Kevin Ding noted it’s in part because Bynum is a rising young star who wants a bigger role on a team with veterans and chafes against his restrictions — a lot like Kobe when he came into the league. Kobe gets him.

Bynum has always fancied himself as more than a traditional center, even though that is his strength. It frustrated former mentor Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that a young Bynum didn’t want to work as much on his back-to-the-basket post moves as much as face-up moves from 12-15 feet out. Bynum does not want to fit in your mold.

But that doesn’t excuse not being a good teammate. Even for a night. And how he acted on the bench was the real issue, not the shot itself. Same with other recent actions.

Bynum’s career has been marked by impatience and immaturity. He is thoughtful, well read and smart, and drafted into the NBA (and one of the league’s most visible teams) at 17 he had to do a lot of growing up in the spotlight. It’s been a bumpy road at times.

Tuesday night felt like a regression to the Bynum of five years ago with his attitude. He doesn’t need to be repentant upon his return, not with the fans and media anyway, but he does need to make sure his teammates know he is still with them, that he still has their back.

This was a real benching, unlike the Bryant situation (Brown sat Kobe for a brief rest but when the Lakers went on a quick 6-0 run he decided to ride what worked, maybe for a little too long but the Lakers were +7 that quarter when Kobe sat and -2 after he returned at the end of the game). But there is a similarity:

It’s another silly “crisis” for Mike Brown to deal with that really is not much of a big deal in the locker room but will dominate the talk outside it. Welcome to coaching the Lakers.

  1. andycapozello - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    This is exactly why the Lakers will not represent the west in the finals and OKC will. Bynum is a better player then Perkins but is so weak minded it’s not even funny. I couldn’t imagine perk pulling this bulls**t, there’s a difference between a harda** and a dumba** and that’s it right there.

    • gtizzo - Mar 28, 2012 at 8:31 PM

      andycapozello,

      True, so true.

  2. rooney24 - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:47 AM

    Orlando will be glad they didn’t trade Howard for this malcontent. It is one thing for Kobe to try to keep him in line on a solid, fairly veteran team. If Bynum was the big dog on some other team, that team would start to fall apart and look like the Wizards.

    • skids003 - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      Andrew Gump. He hasn’t earned the right to be a star sulking. Give him his tootsie pop so he won’t cry.

    • djkiddb01 - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      Andrew Bynum is still a kid at 24 years old. Dwight Howard is not replacable just like Kobe, Lebron, Wade, and Rose. If Bynum was the “Big Dog” he would probably average 25pts and 14 Rebs a game. (Just Saying) A kid with better foot work and offensive skills than Howard are rare in the NBA.

    • gpatrick15 - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Yeah, cause that Dwight Howard guy has been SO mature, what with stringing an entire fanbase and front office along, throwing his own teammates and coaching staff under the bus, and openly contemplating playing for other franchises. Class act.

  3. djkiddb01 - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    First Kobe Bryant and now Andrew Bynum, I can see the writting on the wall. If the Lakers take an early exit the team will turn it’s back on Mike Brown. Let’s not forget Andrew Bynum is 24, which is not an excuse but who didn’t act immature at 24?

    • rooney24 - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:42 PM

      I didn’t. But, then again, I was not a famous, millionaire athlete that had been pampered and deferred to his entire life. I was just a regular guy working for a living.

    • cinnalocks - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      If someone put you under a microscope you would be surprised to learn what other people see of you everyday. At 24 with 7 yrs under his belt he is not a kid. His age is not an excuse. If is not like he is inexperienced, just young and they are not the same. He gets paid a bundle and he has a lot of people who depend on him. He loafs on defense but runs to get down court on offense. He needs to get his head straight. Does he want to compete for a Championship or settle for an early exit in the Playoffs….. Like last year. Remember when he took off his jersey and revealed to us all that unsightly body. Do some work or leave that jersey on. Forgive me if I misunderstood but I thought the Lakers were ALL about Championships.

    • chuckj1234 - Mar 28, 2012 at 6:50 PM

      I like Mike Brown. Any pro coach should bench a player who did what he did. This is not college with someone like Bobby knight undressing a player in public. All they can do is say sit down big fella.

  4. rickeye9 - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM

    I was at the game last night and couldn’t stop laughing when I saw him pull up

  5. ezmagic - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:26 AM

    Yea he’s only 24 but has been in the league since he was 18. Time to grow up punk… he has too much of an upside to act like a bi@cth. I think all 29 other coaches would bench him too for taking a 3 like that so don’t be blaming coach for it. I’m a magic fan and glad we didn’t trade for this piece of work.

  6. illegalblues - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    yeah real dick move on bynum’s part. you act the fool, you ride the pine. deal with it

  7. 20dollardinners - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    He’s a top 3 center. This is a “slow news day” article

  8. grimreeper - Mar 28, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    Bynum sucks anyway he’s not a top three center and needs to ride the bench!!! Lmao

    • gpatrick15 - Mar 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

      Give me three centers better than him. I’m not even a laker fan, but I know and can say with a straight face that there’s only really one center better than Bynum overall, and that’s Dwight Howard. However, the gap isn’t very far between a fully healthy Bynum and Dwight Howard. Bynum’s more talemted offensively, is not a liability late in close games, and, while not quite the defensive powerhouse that Howard is, doesn’t do too bad for himself on that end either. If I’m in the position that the Lakers were in at the deadline, I’d have kept Bynum, too.

    • loungefly74 - Mar 28, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      i dont know if you are being sacastic but your comment was a head shaker…

      Bynum is a top 3 center in the league. that may be due to the fact there are not a lot of dominant centers in this era. (gosh, i wish greg oden would have panned out)…

      but yeah, i cant defend his immaturity. i can only hope kobe and brown keep him in check…especially during playoff time.

      • cinnalocks - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        He is number three because of hard work and skills. Every team in the league has at least two centers, so if I am not mistaken there are 28 teams. He is in competition with the 56 best in the world…..era has no bearing. Rules were different, the game was different. Oden? Hell he averaged less than 20 as the center piece in High School. He was NEVER dominate. I live in Indy and watched him play in high school and college. He NEVER impressed me, he just looked old and scary.

      • loungefly74 - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:27 PM

        i watched Oden a lot as well. (im a cali native now living in columbus)…he had the potential to dominate, thats why he went #1. i was just thinking it was a shame we never saw his potential. this era is weak with centers. not taking anything away from bynum though, i love that guy and glad the Lakers have him….oh…i think there are 30 teams…but thats okay…i dont count the raptors or bobcats anyway. hehehe!

    • chargerdillon - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      Haters be hatin

      • rooney24 - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        That is the easy, dumb response that too many people use way too often. Why is pointing out that he was being childish “hatin”? How about having a reasonable, thought out response? Even if I wouldn’t agree with your position, I could at least respect a response with some effort behind it more than “Haters be hatin”. Man, that is a lazy response. It’s like a 13 year old girl saying “whatever” to everything.

      • slowclyde86 - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:17 PM

        I could not agree more, rooney. The “hating” comments are intellectually lazy. Disagree with a comment if you must, but do it on substance.

    • cinnalocks - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      @grimreeper…Your are stupid and ill informed. He is 3 in rebounds, 5 in blocks, 4 in double/doubles and 5 in efficiency also.

      You seem rather foolish when you post things based on emotions rather than fact. I guess that is why they call it dumb, huh reeper?

  9. teedraper - Mar 28, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Helin,

    Andrew has two rings! How many does Brown have as a HC? Crickets!
    Mike Brown is a joke bc Andrew took a 3 pointer & made it in a previous game & wasn’t taken out. There’s no consistency which is why players don’t respect him.

    • Kurt Helin - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:24 PM

      That three he made was at the end of a decided game. This was a Baron Davis like, early in the clock three. Very different things. But its less the shot and how he acted afterwards that should embarrass him.

      • teedraper - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:58 PM

        I can respect that

  10. ljl2 - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    too bad mike brown didn’t do this in cleveland…they might of had a ring

  11. teambringitstrong - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    Get over yourselves people. And stay outta grown folks’ business.

  12. lakerluver - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:18 PM

    First of all, Bynum didn’t choose the era in which he’s playing in. Secondly, he would be good in any era. And lastly, if you can’t see he’s the second best center in basketball you probably need to go watch hockey. That being said, he is a very immature guy. He needs to realize that the LAKERS will be his team AFTER the Kobe era ends. He needs to be the best 2nd option in the league and stop acting like a baby. I’m still glad the LAKERS didn’t trade him for Howard. Especially if it meant also including Pau! That would’ve been “highway robbery”. I think potentially he could be better than Howard. But he has to grow up some first. Brown was correct in benching him.

  13. detroitcityryda - Mar 28, 2012 at 6:57 PM

    Brown will bs fired the players will go against him till he gets the boot , he’s acting like the boss . It’s either him or Kobe one won’t be there after this season unless they win it which won’t happen in hell .

  14. losangelasbasketball - Mar 28, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    It was a statement shot…. “yo Kobe, pass me the rock or else this will happen….”

  15. glink123 - Mar 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    I’ll take Noah over Bynum. I get twice the hustle, better passing out of the post, better team “D”, I still get a double-double guy, and I get it for $10 mil per season instead of $16 mil.

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