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It's not quite all good for Bynum

October 08, 2008|Mike Bresnahan | Times Staff Writer

The theme from "Welcome Back, Kotter" came over the loudspeaker and a strong ovation followed.

Andrew Bynum was back.

It was only an exhibition, a 99-90 Lakers loss to Utah, but Bynum had more good moments than bad in a 15-point, eight-rebound effort Tuesday at the Honda Center.

In his first game since sustaining a knee injury in January, Bynum backed down Mehmet Okur for an easy turnaround, dunked off a feed from Derek Fisher and pinned Paul Millsap down low on the way to converting a three-point play.

On the other hand, two of his shots were blocked and he had four turnovers in 24 minutes.

"He's shown some really good things out there and then he's shown some things that he definitely needs to improve upon," said assistant coach Kurt Rambis. "We keep impressing upon him that he's got to do a much better job of running the floor to both ends and that he's got to do a much better job of anchoring our defense. It's a big man's responsibility to not only control his man but be the support man and the help man whenever people are driving to the basket."

The main surprise was that Bynum was a backup. The starters were Fisher, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Lamar Odom and Trevor Ariza.

Bynum said he didn't mind coming off the bench.

"It doesn't matter to me. I really just want to start the real season and get back to it."

Bynum's reserve role might be only temporary. In fact, Gasol was surprised to hear before the game that Bynum was a backup.

"I'm starting at center?" Gasol asked a reporter. "I'm pretty sure that Andrew is going to be in the starting lineup during the year and probably during the preseason too."

Jordan Farmar had 15 points. Bryant had eight points in 24 minutes. Gasol had six points in five minutes.

Jackson sidelined

Coach Phil Jackson underwent a series of tests after experiencing soreness and swelling in his legs. Results weren't to be available until today.

"We do not anticipate it's anything serious at all," team spokesman John Black said. "We felt, and he felt, it would be better for him to stay at home and watch the game on TV."

Rambis took Jackson's place on the sideline for Tuesday's exhibition. The Lakers' next exhibition is Thursday against the Clippers in Fresno.

Walton stalker arrested

An El Segundo woman was charged with a misdemeanor for stalking forward Luke Walton.

Stacy Elizabeth Beshear was arrested Sept. 18, and a trial was subsequently set for Nov. 6 in Torrance Superior Court.

"She had been following him to his practice site and following him home and repeatedly asking him to sign basketballs after he'd already done so," said Sgt. Steve Tobias of the Manhattan Beach Police Department. "At one point she got upset and was taking a Sharpie pen to his vehicle after he refused to sign a soccer ball."

Beshear temporarily stopped following Walton after police officers spoke with her about it, but she eventually "crossed the line," Tobias said.

"She was following him for a large part of the day and at one point drove side by side with him and gestured at him, extended her hand out the window and acted like she was cocking a gun," he said.

If convicted, Beshear faces up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Walton seemed bewildered by it all. "When I kept seeing her around, I knew it was serious and I knew I had to do something. That's when I contacted the police." he said. "I just can't believe how crazy all this stuff is."

Injured list

Walton (off-season ankle surgery), Sasha Vujacic (sprained ankle) and Sun Yue (mononucleosis) sat out Tuesday's exhibition.

Times staff writer Broderick Turner contributed to this report.


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