Andrew Bynum apologizes for hit on J.J. Barea

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Here’s the thing about Andrew Bynum — he’s one of the more introspective Lakers. He’s thoughtful, an avid reader, a genuinely good kid, but at times acts like a 23-year-old. An immature 23-year-old.

And when the frustration over the Lakers loss boiled over, he acted immaturely. At best.

At his exit interview Tuesday, he apologized for the cheap hit on J.J. Barea at the end of Game 4, from Mike Trudell at Lakers.com.

Number one, I want to apologize for my actions at the start of the 4th quarter in Dallas in Game 4. They don’t represent me, my upbringing, this franchise, or any of the Laker fans out there that want to watch us and watch us succeed. Furthermore and more importantly, I want to actually apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I’m just glad he wasn’t seriously injured in the event, and all I could say is, I looked at it, it’s terrible and it definitely won’t happen again. I went and I watched it, and it was terrible. Sometimes you just have to man up and own it, and that’s what happened. It’s that simple.

It’s a start. Doesn’t take the act away, and he should get a healthy fine and suspension from the league at the start of next season for it.

But Bynum is not a bad guy. And he may be maturing, even if he is learning some of those lessons the hard way.