Los Angeles Lakers head coach Mike Brown has had some high-profile company with him on the sideline lately. During Sunday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, Brown subbed out Kobe Bryant for four of the last six minutes of the game, angering the crowd at the Staples Center. With the Lakers trailing, the crowd chanted for the five-time champ as time for a comeback dwindled. Playing against the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, Brown got fed up with another one of his All-Stars.
Early in the third quarter, Andrew Bynum took an uncontested 3-pointer from the top of the key. The 24-year-old center missed badly. As the Warriors set up their offense on the next trip down the court, Lakers backup center Josh McRoberts was sent to the scorer's table to go in for Bynum.
Bynum, who started laughing with some teammates once he sat down, was benched for the rest of the third quarter and played just the first three minutes of the fourth.
Bynum's benching didn't draw anger from the Lakers fans, but his 3-point attempt and demeanor afterward did raise eyebrows among the media.
Bynum, who didn't join the huddle during several timeouts down the stretch, was asked if he believed that he deserved to be exiled to the bench for the missed 3-point shot.
"I made one (against Memphis), and I wanted to make another one. I swear. That's it. I guess (Brown) took offense to it, so he put me on the bench," he said, via Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles. "He took me out of the game, so I just sat where he put me."
Like his teammate, Kobe wasn't too pleased about being benched on Sunday. However, the veteran handled it diplomatically, telling reporters that he won't hold a grudge against Brown. Bryant took the opportunity to remind everyone that he has been sticking up for Brown, reiterating that he has "had his back the whole season."
In regards to Bynum, Kobe understood where his center was coming from after the game against the Warriors and implied that the coaches could have handled it differently.
Despite the recurrent drama with the Lakers, the team remains ranked third in the Western Conference, ahead of the Los Angeles Clippers and defending champion Dallas Mavericks. But with a game coming up against the West's best Oklahoma City Thunder, Brown might want to think about holding off on the benching.