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Time for Lakers' Bynum to put up and shut up?

December 5, 2008 |  6:45 pm

Andrew Bynum is double-teamed by Toronto Raptors forward Jamario Moon, left and forward Chris Bosh, center.

I had to laugh when Andrew Bynum, who is just a kid, complained about being taken out of two recent Laker games in the fourth quarter.

Young Andrew played the Fat Lady card, saying, "You never know 'til the Fat Lady sings and he sings a lot for me."

HE? I'm sure that's the first time in his Hall of Fame career Phil Jackson's been called a fat lady.

But that little bit of impudent, immature disrespect is just part of the problem.

The real point is that no player, especially on a team with legitimate championship hopes, should be warming up in the wings next to that Fat Lady, me me me.

So what if Young Master B has to sacrifice a few minutes of playing time to accommodate some of his friends on the deepest team in the league?

Think of what Lamar Odom is sacrificing this season. Only minutes, stats, his starting job and any chance of a supersized contract when his expires next summer.

Whether Bynum was emboldened and feeling bulletproof due to his new, $57-million dollar contract or not, a kid who is finally legal to buy beer, and who has no real cachet yet with the league or with the Lakers, has no business introducing me-first agendas into what appears to be a we-first group of high achievers.

The me-first thing tends to spread like a virus. As Stephon Marbury was just telling me, it's often ugly and usually ends badly.

I'm quite sure Kobe Bryant already is policing this nonsense internally in the Laker locker room.

At 7-1, and with the wingspan of an office building, Bynum has a big, bright future.

Laker fans will enjoy that future a lot more if they get to watch it with the kid's mouth taped shut.

-- Ted Green

Ted Green is a former Laker beat writer for the L.A. Times. He is currently Senior Sports Producer for KTLA Prime News.

Photo: The Lakers' Andrew Bynum is double-teamed by Toronto Raptors forward Jamario Moon, left and forward Chris Bosh, center, during a Nov. 30 game at the Staples Center. Gus Ruelas / Los Angeles Times