NEW YORK, (Reuters) – Los Angeles Lakers center Andrew Bynum has been suspended for the first five games of next season for his flagrant foul on Dallas Mavericks guard J.J. Barea, the NBA said yesterday.
Bynum was ejected for elbowing Barea while the guard was in mid-air with 8:21 left in Sunday’s Game Four in Dallas, where the Lakers were routed 122-86 and swept from the playoffs.
The seven-foot center has also been fined $25,000 by the league for removing his jersey as he exited the court.
Earlier yesterday at the Lakers’ training base in El Segundo, Bynum issued a public apology for his behavior against the Mavericks.
“I want to apologize for my actions,” Bynum told reporters. “They don’t doesn’t represent me, my upbringing, this franchise or any of the Lakers’ fans out there that want to watch us and want us to succeed. “More importantly, I want to apologize to J.J. Barea for doing that. I’m just glad that he wasn’t seriously injured in the event.
“After I saw it (on tape), it was definitely embarrassing. It was terrible and it definitely won’t be happening again.”
Bynum will be suspended for the first five games of the 2011-12 regular season for which he is eligible and physically able to play.