Added Lakers forward Lamar Odom: “Maybe he was a little emotional (then). Kwame is a good dude. He’s a big dude. I wouldn’t want him mad at me.” Brown still is in what Lakers coach Phil Jackson called a “learner’s mode,” trying to figure out the spots where he should be playing power forward and center in the triangle. It didn’t help that Brown took an elbow to the face in the Lakers’ first exhibition, needing seven stitches to close a gash under his left eye. “I’ve got to learn two positions and I’ve got to learn it to where it’s fluid,” Brown said. “Me thinking about where I’m supposed to be is slowing the offense down. So I’ve just got to get it to where it’s just a timing thing.” Jackson said he was e-mailed the Post article, but did not read it after hearing Brown’s account during a meeting in July. Jackson was asked if, as a coach, he could accept Brown’s explanation for leaving his team in the playoffs. “He didn’t accept it as a player,” Jackson said. “He was criticizing himself and saying, ‘This is my fault, I let this get to me, I was too emotionally involved, so many things had gone down, and then to feel like I was being kept from playing by a teammate or a situation.’ “He felt that he had let it get to him and he wanted to go and move (on from) that. And I think it’s time to do that for him.” The Lakers privately believe the Wizards would have re-signed Brown, who was a restricted free agent, had the playoff incident not occurred. Brown said he has remained in touch with Washington center Etan Thomas and Jackson said he welcomed the chance to see Brown play in a “high emotion” situation Tuesday. The Lakers and Wizards could play again Friday at Staples Center. Brown, who said at the start of training camp in Honolulu he wished the questions about the Wizards would go away, was asked about having something to prove. “For what?” Brown said. “I’m a Laker right now. I just want to come out here and enjoy myself and play hard for the Lakers.” Ross Siler, (818) 713-3610 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! According to Brown, All-Star guard Gilbert Arenas – a former Grant of Van Nuys standout – asked coach Eddie Jordan not to send Brown into Game 3 of the Wizards’ series with the Chicago Bulls. Brown said he didn’t go to practice the next day because he “was going to slap the (expletive) out of” Arenas. The Wizards said at the time that Brown’s absence was excused because of a stomach virus. But Brown was suspended for the rest of the playoffs two days later, setting in motion the decisions that would end with the 6-foot-11 forward sent to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Two weeks into his time with the Lakers, Brown was asked Sunday how things would be stepping onto the floor with Arenas. After the story was published, Brown said he called Arenas to smooth things over. “We’ve been fine the whole time,” Brown said. “We were cool the whole time. I talked to Gilbert right after that. We’re cool. When you talk to Gilbert, he’s going to say the same thing.” Although Tuesday’s game will be an exhibition, Brown said in the Post story that he wanted to “whup their (butts)’ when the Lakers play in Washington on Dec. 26. He was reminded of the comment Sunday. “This is an exhibition game,” Brown said. “This is trying to learn. There’s a lot that’s going into learning the (triangle) offense and pressing and doing all these things that we’re doing. So I’m just trying to focus on that right now. “It’s going to be exciting to play against them, but I have to focus on what we’re doing.” EL SEGUNDO – Between the now-annual Kobe-and-Shaq Christmas showdown and an ordinary October exhibition in Bakersfield, Kwame Brown will find himself Tuesday night, facing none other than the Washington Wizards. It will be Brown’s first game against the team that drafted him No. 1 overall out of high school in 2001 and his first game since telling the Washington Post the story behind why he left the Wizards during the first round of last season’s playoffs.