HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Lakers All-Star center Andrew Bynum is making headlines in Los Angeles again, but for all the wrong reasons.
On top of last week’s benching, it appears that the Lakers fined Bynum for a number of transgressions that have occurred recently, per published reports in Los Angeles. Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com provides some details:
Bynum recently was fined an undisclosed amount for “numerous infractions,” multiple sources confirmed to ESPNLosAngeles.com. One of the stunts that warranted the fine from the team was Bynum blowing off a meeting with Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak.
Bynum told ESPNLosAngeles.com he was unaware of the fine before getting into his car outside the Lakers practice facility and driving away after the team’s shootaround in preparation for their game against the New Jersey Nets on Tuesday.
Bynum did tell the website, though, he will not play in Tuesday night’s game after suffering a moderate sprain of his left ankle in the first quarter of a game against the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
The sprain did not require an MRI on Monday and X-rays on Bynum’s ankle were negative, but Bynum did not participate in the Lakers’ shootaround on Tuesday. Bynum used the shootaround time for treatment, which included anti-inflammatory medicine.
Lakers coach Mike Brown had said Bynum’s status would be a game-time decision.
“I can’t play,” Bynum said while wearing tape around his left ankle. “Hopefully (Wednesday against the Clippers).”
While Bynum never has been better on the court, averaging career highs in points (17.9) and rebounds (11.9) per game to go along with 2.0 blocks and the second best field goal percentage in the league (58.1 percent), he increasingly has been difficult off it since playing in his first All-Star Game in February.
This is drama that the Lakers simply do not need. No team with championship aspirations needs this sort of extracurricular nonsense, particularly from a player that is an absolute cornerstone for the franchise’s foreseeable future.
If there was going to be a player who clashed with Brown and the front office this season, most folks would have assumed it would be Kobe Bryant (who was benched but took the high road). Bynum would have ranked lower on the list of potential agitators.
And yet, here he is, the man in the middle … on and off the court!