Saturday, March 3, 2012
Updated: March 4, 9:45 PM ET
Andrew Bynum won't seek payback
By Dave McMenamin
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers host the Miami Heat on Sunday, exactly one week after Dwyane Wade's foul across the face of Kobe Bryant in the NBA All-Star Game caused Bryant a concussion, nasal fracture and lingering neck pain.
If Wade is going to experience any sort of retribution in Sunday's game for his hard hit on Bryant, don't expect it to come from Lakers center Andrew Bynum.
"I can't do anything about (it)," Bynum said after the Lakers' shootaround on Saturday. "If I do anything, they're going to definitely hit me (with punishment). It sucks. It's not good. It's just unfortunate and something we got to deal with."
By "they," Bynum was referring to the league office that suspended the 24-year-old two games last season and four games to start this season for hard fouls on the Minnesota Timberwolves' Michael Beasley and J.J. Barea, then with the Dallas Mavericks.
"I got two (targets on me)," Bynum said. "I got Beasley, I got Barea and people blame me for the Gerald Wallace incident, but I didn't do anything in that particular one."
Bynum was called for a flagrant-2 foul for a shot to Wallace's side during the 2008-09 season when Wallace was playing for the Charlotte Bobcats. Wallace suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung from the play, but Bynum was not suspended in that instance.
Bynum said he wasn't the only player on the Lakers' roster who has to be mindful of his reputation influencing how he is perceived by the referees.
"There's hard fouls, but you can't do anything over the top," Bynum said. "There's an eye on Matt Barnes and Ron (Metta World Peace) and myself."
Barnes said Wednesday that he would welcome the chance to play a hard-knock style if opponents are going to do the same.
"Hopefully they'll let us play," Barnes said Wednesday. "If they're going to let the league play physical, they need to start letting our team play physical."
Bynum said that the heightened attention paid to his fouls after his history of hits in the past is "just part of the game."
Said Bynum: "Now, we're going to get hit (with a foul, fine or suspension) extra hard for anything."
Still, the seven-year veteran hasn't let the judgments against him in the past dictate how he plays defense currently.
"I still play hard. If I have to foul, I have to foul. That's part of the game," Bynum said. "I can't do anything extra, obviously. No elbows. Nothing that looks crazy."
A reporter then asked if Bynum was at least conscious of his reputation while he's playing.
"You got to be conscious of it at this point, I mean, $750,000!" Bynum said, referencing the approximate amount of salary he lost from the six games he was suspended.
Lakers coach Mike Brown acknowledged that Sunday's game could turn chippy, but downplayed the revenge storyline.
"I like feistiness. I think it's good. But I'm not worried about it," Brown said. "If it happens, it happens, if it doesn't, it doesn't. I think both teams just want to win however they can win."
Bynum agreed with Brown and didn't nominate anyone to step up as the enforcer against Wade in his stead.
"I think everyone should avoid it," Bynum said. "We just need to get a win."
Dave McMenamin covers the Lakers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.