Before he took questions from the media Monday morning following his exit interview in El Segundo, Andrew Bynum felt compelled to make a statement:
"Number one, I want to apologize for my actions at the start of the fourth quarter in Dallas on Game 4. They don't represent me, my upbringing, this franchise, or any of the Lakers fans out there that want to watch us and want us to succeed. Furthermore, and more importantly, I want to actually apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I'm just glad that he wasn't seriously injured in the event. All I can say is that I've looked at it, it's terrible, and definitely won't be happening again."
Following Sunday's loss, Bynum was hardly the face of repentance, something a little time and video fixed.
"I saw it. I went and I watched it, and it was terrible," he said. "The whole sequence, taking off the shirt and everything. Sometimes you have to man up and own it. That's what happened."
He's right, of course. The play was among the more dangerous and totally bush league moves I've seen in sports. Given the frustration felt by the team over the course of the playoffs and certainly following the Mother's Day Mauling (I'm open to other nicknames), I'm willing to excuse his postgame comments. Had he come today, with time and space to think about it, and said the same thing? Yikes.
Bynum expects to hear from the league office. "I believe I will be suspended," he said. "I don't want to be suspended."
He will, and the punishment could be very, very stiff.