Pregame with Phil

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Injured center Andrew Bynum’s appearance Saturday at the Playboy Mansion was no big deal, according to Lakers coach Phil Jackson. The 7-foot Bynum was photographed with playmate Nicole Narain perched on his shoulders.

“I think there’s a lot being made out of that that’s unnecessary,” Jackson said today before the Lakers played the Charlotte Bobcats. “This is a young guy. He’s a 21-year-old guy. He’s been out of basketball for six weeks. He’s got to let out some energy and have some fun. I don’t know if putting a girl on your shoulders is a good idea. The fact that people are beating him up over that, I think that is crazy. Andrew is doing fine. He’s going to be fine.”

Bynum has been sidelined since tearing a right knee ligament Jan. 31.

Jackson met with Michael Jordan for a while before the game. Jordan, now a Bobcats executive, and Jackson won six NBA titles together with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s. They spoke about the Illinois state title won a few weeks ago by Jordan’s son’s team.