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T.J. SIMERS

A slow start for Andrew Bynum is no problem for the Lakers

A delay in the center's return from surgery doesn't hurt a team that paces itself in preparation for the playoffs.

September 25, 2010|T.J. Simers

I have a date Monday with Diane Lane.

She just wants to get together, you know, and talk. Movie star to movie star.

I was probably 20 pounds lighter when I starred in "The Game Plan," although the wife says it's 40. She's always been helpful like that, and I'd hate to lose her.

It might be tough to drop 40 pounds in the next two days. If Diane is looking for me to be in her next movie, I guess I'll just have to play the heavy.

But it got me thinking. Why am I so fat?

The answer is easy: Plaschke.

You might read him on occasion, which would explain why you are 20 to 40 pounds overweight. But since you don't have my movie resume, you've got no shot with Diane.

It's the stress that comes from reading his columns. What do you do when you feel stress? Eat.

Dictionary.com describes stress as "physical, mental or emotional strain or tension," like "worry over a job." Or concern people will actually believe what Plaschke writes.

This week Plaschke jumped all over Andrew Bynum.

He's been down on the 22-year-old kid since Bynum was a teenager. He was also a Frank McCourt supporter, but I digress.

He thinks the Lakers should trade Bynum. Any chance he gets to drive that point home, he does.

"Different season, same story, the Lakers big man comes up small," wrote Plaschke.

That's one thing I will never understand. I have no idea why sports columnists have to be so negative.

I believe the Lakers are lucky to have Bynum. I hear Phil Jackson talk about the value of a big body all the time. I'd like to think on occasion he's talking about a sportswriter 40 pounds too heavy, but I know better.

As for the slow start Bynum is going to have this season, isn't the kid following the lead of his elders? The regular season has never meant much to Jackson or the players.

You think the Lakers have any intent of hanging with the Heat to secure the home-court advantage throughout the playoffs?

Let me help you: No.

Every year the Lakers have the talent to win almost every game and yet every year they pace themselves. And that's with Jackson's approval.

He talks about it all the time. When the Bulls won 72 games, it was the players who went after it — almost defying Jackson's wishes.

So what's the hurry? It's going to be more than six months before the playoffs begin, as good a time as any for Bynum's return.

Jackson, true to early-season form, didn't seem all that bothered by the news Bynum won't be ready. Plaschke was more upset, and you know what he's like when he's upset.

Jackson said by his calculations, Bynum's surgery came 10 days later than what the Lakers intended.

He said the surgery was more complicated than anyone had anticipated, delaying the recovery time. But that would have been the case had Bynum had the surgery right away or waited. So at issue here is 10 days.

The way the Lakers and Jackson approach the NBA season in October, November and December, 10 days are nothing.

But here I am all stressed out because folks might get down on the kid after reading Plaschke.

Maybe it's just because I'm more inclined to build people up rather than tear them down. Take Diane Lane. I prefer to dwell on her assets and will do so when we get together Monday.

I just hope her first question isn't, "Where's Plaschke?"

SO WHAT do you think of my Bruins now?

THEY COULD not find a place in the newspaper to run a letter signed by 11 misguided souls supporting Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. But Bill Shaikin wrote of its contents on latimes.com.

Steve Soboroff, until now considered of sound mind, penned the two-page gusher ignoring the fact the McCourts have been out to lunch since they arrived here. Undoubtedly an expensive lunch with fresh flowers nearby.

The letter of support is disturbing because I maintain McCourt is delusional and does not understand how far he's fallen here. In part, it's the fans' fault, those who stop him and ask for his autograph in Dodger Stadium.

It's shocking to learn Soboroff also doesn't get it. In telephone discussions beyond the letter, he believes Frank is positioned to be applauded in the next few years if he holds on to ownership of the team.

Soboroff has been a longtime Clippers' season-ticket holder, so there were signs something like this could happen.

He was also the driving force behind Staples Center being built downtown, and is known for his big heart.

Now you can add "crackpot" to his resume.

As for the suspicion McCourt or one of his image-makers was behind the letter, Soboroff says he never talked to McCourt.

He sent McCourt the letter but never heard back from him. He said a McCourt spokesman replied by providing three of the 11 signees, including the co-owner of the Oakland A's and the White Sox executive who recommended Chicago trade for Manny Ramirez.

Soboroff claims in the letter, McCourt "is far from broke," and he has the money to field a competitive team next season.

Just as soon as the tooth fairy locates the pillow beneath McCourt's head.

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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