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T.J. SIMERS

Sorry, but Andrew Bynum's apology just doesn't cut it

The Lakers center is a day late and not exactly sincere in explaining his actions against Dallas' Jose Barea.

May 10, 2011|T.J. Simers
  • Lakers center Andrew Bynum apologizes for his foul on Dallas guard J.J. Barea while speaking with reporters at the team's practice facility in El Segundo on Tuesday.
Lakers center Andrew Bynum apologizes for his foul on Dallas guard J.J.… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Andrew Bynum gets upset and he rips off his shirt.

Please, please — no one upset Dwyre.

Talk about apologies, Bynum offered one Tuesday morning, presumably spending all day Monday rehearsing and memorizing what the Lakers, his agent, the NBA or his family wanted him to say.

"I want to apologize for my actions at the start of the fourth quarter in Dallas,'' Bynum said. "This doesn't represent my upbringing.''

Had he thought of such a thing himself, he would have done so in the locker room following Sunday's cheap shot.

Had he not been such a classless clod, once Lamar Odom was ejected, he would not have gone on to embarrass himself, his upbringing and the Lakers' organization just minutes later.

Had this not represented his upbringing, after getting slapped with a two-game suspension 53 days ago for elbowing Minnesota's Michael Beasley, he would not have painted a picture of himself as a thug.

"I want to apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that,'' he said.

"Sometimes you have to man up and own it.''

Or, maybe talked into it.

If he really wanted to "man up and own it,'' he should have called a news conference first thing Monday morning and apologized for not saying so the night before.

A good guess would be he had no idea how his cheap shot played with everyone as he sat in front of his locker following the game. And probably didn't care.

You get paid $13.7 million for playing basketball at age 23, what's there to worry about?

The NBA announced Bynum will be suspended five games without pay next season, costing him $677,272.

He was also fined $25,000 for removing his jersey, which doesn't seem fair if he's getting prepared to hand it to Dwight Howard.

As a result of all the fines and suspension, Bynum will be paid now only $14.2 million next season. That'll teach him.

And let's hope so. He still remains the team's great hope either to acquire Howard or to anchor a Lakers' comeback.

I'd still like to see the kid mature into a grown-up Laker, but whatever the outcome, you have to give this group some credit. They finally flipped the switch.

The Lakers went from favorites to advance to the Finals on a Monday to suggestions the whole rotten lot should be blown up the following Sunday.

As a result of such a turnaround, Lakers fans have reacted with anger, disgust and everything it takes to be a Page 2/3 columnist. So how does it feel?

Pretty soon you'll be coming up with nicknames for Pau Gasol, keeping in mind Page 2/3 can only use ones suitable for print.

I'm guessing many of you believe the Lakers personally let you down. Quitting is one thing, but it's quite another to watch a team act nothing like the team you've been so proud to cheer for over the years.

Those weren't the Lakers Sunday, were they?

The lack of sportsmanship displayed by Odom and Bynum probably has a lot of fans second guessing themselves for adoring such a group.

Three years ago when the Lakers defeated Orlando to win the championship, the headline above Page 2 the next day read: "Why would anybody like this team?''

As Rich from Huntington Beach put it in an email Tuesday, "You looked like an idiot.

"So why couldn't you figure out,'' he continued, "this was the season to ask how anybody could like these lazy bunch of classless Lakers?''

For those now starting to sound like a Page 2/3 columnist, as you can see there is no way to win with these guys.

Space

HE HAS experience, he was coach of the year not long ago and he's a former Laker, which has to appeal to the brass. That makes Byron Scott the choice to be next Lakers head coach.

I know he's in Cleveland, but it's not like the city really has a basketball team.

Space

WHO HAS a brighter future? The Dodgers, Lakers, USC or the Clippers? No reason to include UCLA.

Who has the better career, Matt Kemp or Bynum?

Here's an easy one: If you're Steve Blake, shouldn't the Lakers expect you to miss your exit interview?

space

SOME PEOPLE might be worried because Juan Uribe, the Dodgers big offseason signing, is hitting only .217. ((PLS UPDATE)) But GM Ned Colletti was smart enough to sign him to a three-year deal, so he still has two more years to maybe hit .250 one day.

Space

OVER THE weekend, "T.J. And Company'' paid $13.60 while winning the second race at Prairie Meadows, while TJ's Passion made his debut at Golden Gate and won, paying $7.40. I'm not surprised. I can't tell you how often I hear it, "That T.J. is a real winner.''

Space

CLIPPERS PRESIDENT Andy Roeser won a Ron Artest autographed basketball as part of Monday's L.A. Sports & Entertainment golf tournament.

As you might imagine, Roeser will now have to go out and buy a trophy case.

Space

t.j.simers@latimes.com

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