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Bynum doesn’t like waiting game

Times Staff Writer

And finally, he spoke.

Andrew Bynum met with reporters for the first time since the diagnosis heard ‘round the NBA, a knee injury that left Lakers fans wringing their hands while media members scrambled to look up the word “subluxation.”

Bynum, who will be out at least eight weeks, expressed the optimism of a 20-year-old but also showed the restraint of a veteran while speaking before the Lakers played Phoenix on Thursday at Staples Center.

“I think I’ll have about 20 games when I come back,” he said. “I think that’s enough time to get myself acclimated, get back into a rhythm with my teammates and all that.”

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At the same time, he said he would not rush back and risk further injury, even though life hadn’t exactly been a ball of fire since he was injured Sunday against Memphis.

“It’s terrible, sitting down on the couch all day,” he said. “Everything that I have is just a slow heal.”

Bynum, averaging 13.1 points and 10.2 rebounds, was diagnosed with a bone bruise in his left knee and a subluxation of his left kneecap -- a brief dislocation that popped back into place.

He said he was not in pain, although it hurt to bend his knee.

“There’s nowhere for that fluid to go,” he said, grimacing at the thought of all the swelling.

On the brighter side, Bynum said he was pleased that Kobe Bryant recently said the team was “championship caliber” with him in the lineup.

“It makes me feel good. I’ve earned a little bit more of his respect,” Bynum said. “I think that we have the talent on this team and if we come together and play as a unit, I think we’d be able to beat anybody in this league.”

The Lakers, in need of a big man, and Chris Webber, in need of a team, remain fairly distant from each other.

When asked if there was anything percolating Thursday, Webber’s agent said, “Not with the Lakers.”

“I think they’re trying to figure out what they’re going to do,” Aaron Goodwin said. “The Lakers know of his interest, but we won’t push to make it happen.”

Denver, Miami and Detroit are also believed to be interested in Webber, who could decide which team to join this weekend.

The Lakers were intrigued by Webber a year ago and they think he could fit into the triangle offense because of his passing and shooting skills, but there are concerns about his physical condition.

Goodwin said his client was in good shape and was “ready to go.”

Webber, who will be 35 in March, has not played since last season. He averaged 11.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 29.9 minutes in 61 games with Philadelphia and Detroit. He became a free agent after the season.

The Lakers might be closer to signing DJ Mbenga, a 7-footer who was cut last week by Golden State. Mbenga, who attended Thursday’s game, averaged 1.2 points and 1.9 rebounds for the Warriors in 16 games.

What’s new, Vladimir Radmanovic?

“Nothing good, man,” he said Thursday before missing an eighth consecutive game.

He said an MRI exam Wednesday confirmed a sprained right ankle and also showed some tendinitis in the ankle.

“It’s fine now, but as soon as I increase the activity level, it hurts,” he said.

In a Sports Illustrated poll of 242 NBA players, Kwame Brown received the most votes for the question, “Which player gets the least out of the most talent?” Brown received 17% of the votes, followed by Clippers forward Tim Thomas (10%), New York center Eddy Curry (7%), New Jersey guard-forward Vince Carter (6%) and Memphis center Darko Milicic (5%).

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mike.bresnahan@latimes.com


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