source: Dave McMenamin | ESPNLosAngeles.com
PHOENIX -- In his first public comments since being ejected from Friday's 112-107 loss to the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum was unapologetic for the incident.
"I don't have any regrets. Stuff happens," Bynum said after the Lakers' 125-105 loss to the Phoenix Suns on Saturday. "I was ejected for something that happens every game. People talk. It is what it is."
Bynum scored a turnaround hook shot with 11:19 remaining in the fourth quarter to draw the Lakers within one, 84-83, and had something to say to the Houston bench as he ran back up the floor, earning him his second technical foul of the game and an automatic ejection. Bynum was first T'd up in the third quarter after getting tangled up with the Rockets' Samuel Dalembert.
Bynum said his comments to the bench were unprovoked.
"I made a shot and I felt like telling them about it," Bynum said.
What exactly did he say?
"'It's going to be a long night for Dalembert,'" Bynum recalled on Saturday.
The 7-footer was then asked by a reporter if that was all he said.
"Yup," Bynum said. "Sucks, right?"
Lakers coach Mike Brown, who said he was "disappointed" and "concerned" with Bynum's behavior immediately following the Houston loss, was a little less harsh on his 24-year-old big man on Saturday.
"You talk to him about it but you take it in stride," Brown said before the Suns game. "We've had other guys from Josh McRoberts, I think, to Matt Barnes to myself get kicked out. So, that's part of the course of the season in my opinion."
Brown said he has no plans to levy any further fines on Bynum or sit him for a game to teach him a lesson.
"The NBA fines you for getting the first tech. The NBA fines you for getting the second tech. And then you go from there and hopefully it doesn't happen again," Brown said.
Bynum said he did not say anything to his teammates about the ejection, but he did speak to his coach.
"He gave his reasoning," Brown said. "He gave it, I said, 'OK,' and we moved on. He knows that we need him on the floor. He knows that we needed him on the floor (Friday) night and so for me to sit here and continue to beat a dead horse on it, that's not going to do me any good, nor him any good once you get your message across to him."
It was Bynum's second ejection in his last 10 games, both occurring against Houston, but Brown downplayed any trend developing in Bynum's technical foul rate.
"He doesn't even lead our team in technicals," Brown said.
Kobe Bryant leads the Lakers with nine technicals. Bynum has seven. If a player reaches 13 technical fouls in this lockout-shortened season, he is suspended one game (the punishment threshold is 16 T's in a regular, 82-game season). Metta World Peace is third on the team, picking up his sixth T of the season when a double technical foul was assessed to him and Phoenix's Markieff Morris in the second quarter on Saturday.
"I've been ejected I think three times my entire seven-year career," Bynum said. "I don't know where that stacks up, but I don't think it's that bad."
Bryant said Friday that Bynum needed to find the balance between playing with an edge and minding his temper.
"I would rather have guys that have an edge to them, that have something to them," Brown said. "I've told Andrew that before. I said, 'Hey, Andrew, you got to play with some fire, play with some passion. You got to have an edge when you're out there playing instead of just going through the motions.' "
Said Bynum: "It's just about not getting too frustrated and really finding a peaceful place in that rage. I feel good about my game and I'm confident."
With Bryant out on Saturday with inflammation in his left shin, Bynum tallied 23 points and 18 rebounds on a career-high 27 shot attempts against the Suns, but shot just 3 of 9 from the foul line and had three turnovers which matched the amount of turnovers Phoenix had as a team.
"I took off a lot of shots," Bynum said. "I left about 50 (points) out there. There were 3-4 layups, 3-4 little shots in the middle of the lane. If I could have made them it would be a different game."
Brown hopes to see a different, more mature Bynum moving forward.
"He's in a process where he's learning and he's growing," Brown said. "That's one area he's got to continue to try to figure out and navigate through and hopefully at the end of the day it will make him a better player."