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LAKERS FYI

Bynum sees his rhythm get fouled up

November 02, 2008|Mike Bresnahan | Bresnahan is a Times staff writer.

Denver — Andrew Bynum's first game since signing a four-year contract extension didn't exactly go the way the Lakers' center wanted, though he had an alibi.

Bynum had four points, eight rebounds and, of high importance, five fouls in 21 minutes of the Lakers' 104-97 victory Saturday over the Denver Nuggets.

"One referee called all five of my fouls, so it's pretty tough out there when you get two minutes here, three minutes there, five minutes there," Bynum said.

Bynum wasn't sure of the referee's name, but it was Eric Dalen, who is in his first year of working NBA games after spending five seasons refereeing in the Development League.

Bynum had one important person in his corner.

Lakers Coach Phil Jackson said foul trouble was "without a doubt" the reason for Bynum's inconsistent game.

"I left him in with four fouls and I left him in with five fouls to play, but there was a point in time where I just didn't want him to have to go through a foul-out situation in case the game got to overtime," Jackson said.

In other words, Bynum had to play carefully when he was on the court, which wasn't often enough for Jackson's taste.

Bynum missed the only shot he took, an 11-footer a little more than a minute into the game. He made four of six free throws.

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Bynum's bucks

Everybody else has weighed in on the cost and duration of Bynum's contract extension, so why not let him analyze it as well?

"I'm definitely happy with it," he said.

But is it fair?

"The contract sort of minimizes the team's risk," he said. "It's not really a five-year, locked-in, guaranteed [deal]."

Bynum will make $2.8 million this season before earning more than $41 million over the next three seasons.

The team then holds a one-year option for $16 million in 2012-13.

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Next for Coby?

Coby Karl was waived last week by the Lakers, but he will decide within the next seven to 10 days whether to play in the Development League or in Europe if he can't catch on with another NBA team, his father said.

George Karl, who coaches Denver, said the hardest part for his son was leaving a championship-caliber team.

"Going to the Finals and having an opportunity to win a ring very seldom comes to anybody," the elder Karl said.

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Facial-hair follies

Jackson revealed why he was no longer sporting a mustache and his familiar soul patch.

"I like to make the people that are at Getty, that do the photos, work," he said of Getty Images, a photo provider for numerous media outlets. "So you just can't dial up a picture to throw up there with some emotional outbreak I may have. So it has to be new and current."

Then he provided a more plausible explanation. He shaved it so he would "have some anonymity" while driving back to Los Angeles after spending the summer at his Montana lakeside home.

Jackson also weighed in on San Antonio Coach Gregg Popovich's unkempt beard.

"I thought that was just a Halloween thing," Jackson said.

Times staff writer Broderick Turner contributed to this report.

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mike.bresnahan@latimes.com

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