Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum was ejected from the team's game against the Houston Rockets on Friday, adding more incidents to the immature center's resume. Earlier today, he shrugged the ejection off by stating he had no regrets about taunting the Rockets bench and that "stuff happens" (per ESPN's Dave McMenamin).
Next came some news that turned even more heads. Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times reported that Lakers coach Mike Brown did not plan on suspending Bynum for his actions, with Brown laughing at the idea of suspending a player just for getting two technical fouls.
Despite what Brown may say, that is besides the point. Though Bynum may be having a career season, he is still horribly immature. Just when we thought that the oft-injured and hotheaded Bynum of old was gone, he has returned just in time, right as the playoffs are around the corner. That said, Brown needs to suspend his center immediately to show that such behavior will not be tolerated now or at any point.
Look at it this way: The Lakers hired Brown to replace Phil Jackson because he runs a tight ship and is a defensive wizard. In not suspending Bynum, the tight-ship approach is thrown right out the window.
More importantly, it doesn't send the volatile center any sort of message or teach him a lesson, thus giving him license to keep up with the bad attitude as much as he sees fit.
Yet, there's one key reason as to why Brown has to suspend Andrew Bynum: The playoffs are fast approaching and the Lakers are currently ranked third in the competitive Western Conference with the rival Clippers trailing them by just half a game. It's a time of the season where everyone on the team needs to be fully focused with one goal in mind: winning a championship. Given Bynum's attitude, he's only thinking about his paycheck, or maybe a new contract.
That being said, Brown needs to suspend Bynum for at least two games. The Lakers play the Hornets tomorrow, and that would show the former first-round pick that they could win without him. When the Lakers face a tougher San Antonio opponent Wednesday, it could very well make him also see how valuable he is to the team. If that's not incentive to keep one's attitude in check, then I don't know what is.
All that has to happen at this point is for Brown to take some initiative and show that he's the boss. Given the embarrassing way the Lakers' season ended last year, I don't think he should really have a choice in the matter. Suspend Bynum, and improve the team's chances at winning a third championship in four years.
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