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Bynum suspended five games for hit on Barea

May 10, 2011, 7:08 PM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Dallas Mavericks - Game Four Getty Images

The NBA has announced that Lakers center Andrew Bynum will be suspended for the first five games of the regular season for his flying elbow shot to Mavericks guard J.J. Barea in the fourth quarter of Game 4 of the Mavericks-Lakers playoff series. Bynum will also be fined $25,000 for “the manner in which he left the court.”

There’s not much to say about Bynum’s play that hasn’t already been said. It was a dangerous play, it was a dirty play, it was a classless play, and it was an unnecessary play that put a black mark on Phil Jackson’s last game as an NBA coach. This was absolutely a suspension that Bynum deserved given the circumstances of the game, the potential for serious injury the hit caused, and Bynum’s history of dangerous plays.

The 23-year old Bynum is the only Laker starter under the age of 30, and he will likely be a centerpiece of the team going forward. He emerged as one of the best young centers in the league this season, but it is clear that Bynum has some maturing to do if he wants to be a team leader going forward.

  1. ahemahem - May 10, 2011 at 7:16 PM


    • bobulated - May 10, 2011 at 7:21 PM

      Overkill? I thought he got off light in the wallet if not games. Beyond the thug foul, da commish also don’t like it when guys pull street punk moves like yanking the jersey off and walking off the court like they don’t care about nobody but themselves.
      I was thinking Bynum might get to make a 50-100g donation to the Human Fund.

    • florida727 - May 11, 2011 at 12:04 AM

      What a disgrace. One of the most blatant unsportsmanlike acts in years and that @$$ gets off with FIVE games? Stern, you’re an idiot.

  2. otisls - May 10, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    not punitive enough; given his propensity for such behavoir (Wallace, Beasley, Barea), a 20 game suspension and $250,000 fine woud probably be more effective in changing behavoir that risks injury one’s opponent;

  3. 1historian - May 10, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    $25,000 and five games? A joke.

    The guy is a thug and the fact that in a few years he will probably be the face of the lakers is a sad reflection on what the NBA has come to.

  4. zidanevalor - May 10, 2011 at 7:40 PM

    The total fine is $702,272 including his 5 missed paychecks.

    • florida727 - May 11, 2011 at 12:07 AM

      Still not enough. That @$$hole could have ended Berea’s career. Stern clearly has no balls. He’s always been a joke of a commissioner, so at least he’s consistent.

    • weezilgirl - May 11, 2011 at 12:13 AM

      suspended without pay? i hope so!

  5. dwighthowardisamazing - May 10, 2011 at 9:14 PM


  6. dwighthowardisamazing - May 10, 2011 at 9:14 PM


  7. purdueman - May 10, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    Bynum’s a punk and should have been fined a lot more! He’s also a disgrace to the legacy that is the Lakers.

    By the way, I can’t seem to find the Lakers next game on my cable TV listings (?)!

    Where have all the Laker Homers gone? Long time, passing!

    • hoopsfanatic - May 11, 2011 at 10:08 AM


      I realize I am in the minority on this, but if Bynum’s knock down had occurred say in Jan or Feb, I doubt it would have caused this type of reaction. Therefore, I think the fine and suspension were basically in line with what the NBA would normally do with that type of play. I’ve heard people complain, “What if Barea had gotten hurt?” However, if Barea had been hurt, without a doubt, the punishment would have been different. Again, if player A knocks down player B in a game in the mid of Jan, I doubt it would cause this much discussion. (Fyi, it has happened before, and, to be honest, most people did not seem to notice).

      • purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        hoops… Last night Carlos Boozer of the Bulls wound up with a cut on top of his bald dome (I don’t think he’s really bald; I think he’s like Michael Jordan and embarrassed about having pattern baldness, so he simply shaves the rest off).

        Anyways Boozer continued to bleed so the Bulls had to take him out to have a nice big pink bandage applied (why no company apparently makes dark brown colored bandages remains a mystery to me). Steve Kerr then commented that “in the old days back ten to fifteen years ago he just would have been allowed to continue to play”.

        Of course, Magic Johnson coming out and saying that he had HIV changed all that. Kerr though also commented that the league just flat out won’t put up with cheap shots and thuggery and said that the days of Lambier and his goons are over.

        So no, I don’t agree with you; Bynum would have still been fined and suspended even if he done t his in the middle of January. The league now has someone go over every game; not only to look for thuggery, but also to grade the refs.

        I can’t wait until the Lakers play Dallas next, because I’m positive there will be payback. If the leagues smart, they schedule that first meeting to take place in the first five games next season while Bynum is stuck on the sidelines watching.

      • hoopsfanatic - May 11, 2011 at 3:19 PM


        I agree that Bynum would have been fined and suspended even if the incident took place in January. I did not mean to imply otherwise. What I meant was that all the “discussion” currently taking place about the Bynum incident would most likely not have occurred (in my opinion), if the incident happened in January. As for paybacks? If someone on the Dallas team wants to take Bynum out, I think that would be an unwise decision. However, if that’s what someone on that team wants to do, then so be it. With the impending lockout, we all might be waiting a long time to see what happens.

      • purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 3:52 PM

        hoops… I don’t think that there would nearly be the discussion (and mostly outrage), over Bynum’s cheap shot even after the end of the Lakers playoff run if it had occurred in the heat of the moment, been done to a player at least almost as big as Bynum (or bigger), and it hadn’t been so totally pointless when the game (and series), was no longer in doubt.

        In addition, much of the resulting storm would have calmed down a lot had Bynum issued an immediate and sincere apology afterwards. As is though, his apology was late in coming, seemed very staged and rehearsed and insincere. He was in fact about as sincere as a man offering up an apology to another man for having had a long affair with that man’s wife behind his back!

        Obviously Barea was as annoying to the Lakers as a swarm of nats, but that doesn’t justify trying to injure him intentionally (as I say Bynum was clearly doing), nor is it Bynum have the stones to at least pick on a man his own size (like Nowizski). Only problem with that is, Nowitzski likely would have fought back!

  8. purdueman - May 10, 2011 at 9:35 PM

    Where have all the Laker bandwagoners gone?
    Long time passing;
    Where have all the Laker bandwagoners gone?
    Long time ago;
    Where have all the Laker bandwagoners gone?
    The Mavs kicked their ass in front of every-one!
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they-yyyy, ever-rrrr learn?


    • florida727 - May 11, 2011 at 12:09 AM

      Before you get too giddy over the Mavs beating the Lakers, be sure to check the jewelry boxes. I can’t stand LA but they do have the hardware… for now.

      • purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 12:15 AM

        floirida… please tell us… how many rings do you own that weren’t purchased at a jewelry store??? Uh… that would be exactly NONE! (LOL!)

        Please… stop living in the past because that’s what it is… THE PAST!!!

      • weezilgirl - May 11, 2011 at 12:15 AM

        Rings, just like money, can’t buy class.

    • hoopsfanatic - May 11, 2011 at 10:29 AM


      You seem to have an obsession with the Lakers. 😀

      You remind me of someone who says they don’t like their father, and go on to claim they are nothing like their father. When in fact their father has influenced most of the decisions they have made in their lives. You say you don’t like the Lakers, yet you seem to spend a lot of time talking about them. 😀

      For the record, I used to live in Southern California for a few years. However, I have no memories of the sports talk because I do not listen to sports talk on the radio. I recognize John Ireland on ESPN from my days in Southern California, but that is pretty much it.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you have every right to be happy that the Lakers lost. I can not argue with you for being happy that the Lakers had a disappointing season. I would just caution about getting too excited in light of the Lakers history. It will probably have to wait until next summer, but I do expect the Lakers to land another big name, and make another run before Kobe retires. The Lakers are not going away, and I’m sure sports talk radio is still going to be talking shop about the Lakers. 😀

      • purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        hoops… I truly enjoy our little give and take on this forum. Your posts are always solid and provide the board with a lot of good material from which to debate and work from.

        Admittedly I do indeed have a bit of an obsession with the Lakers, but not because they are the Lakers, but because I have simply been suffering from a long bad case of “Laker Fatigue” and “Laker Over-Hype” for quite some time now. Enough already! I don’t give a damn what Laker overpaid scrub had for dinner last night anymore than I would about what my next door neighbor had for dinner last night, yet on LA sports talk radio, that soundbite is usually good for 15-20 minutes or more of discussion. Ugh!

        I’m not concerned about next year though, or the following years that Kobe is still in the league because as we all say with the announcement today of the tragic death of “Tractor” Traynor at only 34 years of age, none of us know when our time on this spinning globe of ours will be up. I say, “savor the moment” when you can and while you can, regardless of what side of the fence your team winds up being on in any given year.

        Laker homers though aren’t the worst gasbags in sports by any stretch of the imagination. That distinction IMO goes to University of Michigan alum football fan and New England Patriot gasbags. Prior to Belin-cheat winning his first super bowl with butt-chin Tom at QB, the Patriot-cheatss were largely irrelevant in New England; now suddenly EVERYONE there seems to be a self-professed lifetime fan.

        The “new breed” of north shore Yuppie scum bag Cub fans also are much worse gasbags than Laker honks too, as every since the Cubs run in 2003 led by SI cover boy darlings Wood and Prior they’ve come out of the woodwork like cockroaches in an abandoned house at night.

        Yankee Homers aren’t even in the league with these obnoxious so called “fans”. I believe that most Yankee Homers, unlike Laker, U of M, Cubs and Patriotcheat fans, are for the most part legitimate, passionate baseball fans. That’s why I rarely, if ever, post anything against them.

  9. goforthanddie - May 10, 2011 at 9:42 PM

    5 games for cold-cocking a defenseless man? Wow, you’re really laying down the law there Herr Stern.

  10. loungefly74 - May 10, 2011 at 9:48 PM

    calm down people…just another suspension. it has been dealt move along people.

    • purdueman - May 10, 2011 at 9:52 PM

      No biggie; Bynum by the time his suspension comes time to be served will be hurt again nursing one of his many “owies”!

  11. purdueman - May 10, 2011 at 9:51 PM

    High wind warnings throughout the LA area yesterday and today. Seems like all that hot air rushing out of the giant Laker Homer GASBAG being busted is responsible!! (LMAO!)

    “We’re going to three-peat” say they!
    “It’s a done deal”, say they!
    “We’ll kick Miami and La Bums ass in the NBA finals”, say they!
    “There are no NBA fans who aren’t Laker fans in suburban Orange and Riverside Counties”, say they!
    “Kobe is a better closer than Michael Jordan”, say they!
    “Phil has 11 rings!”, say they!
    “It’s ok; Lakers in 7!”, say they!

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    Nah Nah Nah Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, HEY! HEY! GOO-OOO-D BYE!!!

    Time for all Laker bandwagoners to crawl back into their favorite wine bar watering hole downtown and order a nice wine spritzer with a little umbrella in it to drown their sorrows! (ROFLMAO!!!).

  12. kyleortonsarm - May 10, 2011 at 10:00 PM

    The L.A. Lakers are the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NBA. A bunch of low life thugs and losers who try to hurt people and get in trouble for crimes against women off the court. Way to aim low L.A.

  13. purdueman - May 10, 2011 at 10:06 PM

    kyleorton… two thumbs up!!! (and very clasy handle too, if I do say so myself!).

    • kyleortonsarm - May 10, 2011 at 11:25 PM

      I don’t know you, but for some reason I have this feeling that you’re an incredibly awesome and insightful individual who is smart, capable and a great conversationalist.

  14. bj1980 - May 10, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    So, for initiating contact that out in the world could’ve gotten Bynum arrested for assault and battery, for delivering a hit that could’ve broken Barea’s ribs or dislocated his shoulder, for a player who admitted after the game that he had no intention of defending the play and only wanted to hurt somebody, for an individual with a history of similar behavior, for an incident that throws the league back into the butcher-shop era it’s been trying to leave behind . . . five games.

    . . .

    I’ll admit, I’m not sure where the league’s priorities lie in this instance, Commissioner.

  15. tejano2k - May 10, 2011 at 11:13 PM

    The suspension and fine aren’t a problem for Drew or the Lakers. Everyone’s always hollering about the “soft, finesse” team that the Lakers are. Now, they go out and get chippy and everyone cries they’re thugs. Honestly, it was a desperate, uncondonable action, by Bynum, in a losing effort. However, I’ll bet Berea thinks twice, next time, about trying to slash through the paint. The Lakers had an “off year” by their standards. It was a real stretch, to be honest, to think they would 3-peat. As a die-hard Lakers fan, the dream’s always alive but the reality was that for whatever reason, the team just never really got into their high gear (flipped the switch, as we say). They’ll be back, probably as good or even better than this year’s version. Bynum will have to live and learn but barring major injuries, or trade, he will be a huge part of any success the Lakers enjoy going forward. Great win for Dallas. I never thought they could pull it off. You gotta love that Mark Cuban. To the Zen Master… Best of health and well-wishes in your retirement. Thanks for the memories and the Championships. Oh…Don’t get too far from the phone. They just might need a little advice along the way.

  16. jordinh - May 10, 2011 at 11:51 PM

    I really wish players can be charged for assault for a non-basket ball play that would be considered a crime outside the basketball court. Boxers have to get a license to fight. That play would have gotten him arrested for assault anywhere else and he does not have a license to fight.

    5 Games, $700K is NOTHING. That is like 6% of his salary for one year. You think he really cares? Chunk change. He should have been suspended for 5 FUTURE PLAYOFF games.

    He only apologized AFTER he took some heat. He made NO apologizes when they interviewed him afterward the game. He didnt even mention Barea’s name.

  17. weezilgirl - May 11, 2011 at 12:18 AM

    “However, I’ll bet Berea thinks twice, next time, about trying to slash through the paint. ”

    Oh, I see, now it is Berea’s fault for inciting a violent act, by Bynum, while going for a basket.

    Typical enabler.

    • hoopsmccann - May 11, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      “However, I’ll bet Berea thinks twice, next time, about trying to slash through the paint. ”

      That’s right weezilgirl, Tejano2OK undesrtands the game. When did all of you babies start watching basketball anyway, after switching from Disney channel?

      You obviously don’t realize how emotional playoff basketball is and what it was like in the 80s, you know, the Golden Age of Hoops. Anyone remember Tree Rollins biting Danny Ainge, McHale clotheslining Rambis, Dr J punching out Larry Bird in the face while he was being held by other players, Shaq throwing a punch at a Chi player that might have killed him if it connected, Robert Parish punching Bill Laimbeer, Kevin Johnson throwing a punch at Magic etc.? AND THESE ARE HALL OF FAMERS! They were all cheap shots and unnecessary but I don’t remember any of these incidents hurting any of their careers or their legacys, “or their reputations taking a big hit”.

      Smaller players weren’t allowed to drive the paint with impunity without eventually being sent a message! The guards were well aware of the price that they might pay by driving once too often. I’m not saying that it’s right or wrong but it has been part of the game for a long time. Have some perspective.

      And Bynum wasn’t the only one to show his immaturity, Barrea absolutely played his part in inciting it! Everyone here seems to forget the context of these events. It appeared that Nowitski was mouthing off to Odom and Barrea, the littlest guy in the NBA, jumped in to “protect” Witski and got in Odom’s face and showed him up in front of the world. Do you really think Barrea would get in Odom’s face if they were in the parking lot? He knew he could act big and show Odom up and get away with it and that’s what he did. And then he immediately afterward tries to show up Bynum by driving for a layup when the game was long ago decided. That’s not only immature but downright stupid. But Bynum did show his immaturity as well – he should have drove through Barrea with his LEFT forearm and blocked the shot with his right. Before guards were babied it would have been a simple 2 shot foul.

      Yes, JordinH let’s charge all these guys with assault and battery. That way we’d never get to watch Bird, Dr J., Magic, Parrish, Kevin Johnson, Ainge, Laimbeer, Mchale, or Shaq play Hoops. They’d all have been in jail.

      What a bunch of sissies you people are. Ever watch hockey JordinH? They knock out opponents players teeth with a high stick and disfigure them for life and get 2 to 4 minites in the penalty box. But you want Bynum arrested and put in jail for a cheap shot that Barrea asked for and didn’t even get hurt on. Go jump rope or play hopscotch with the girls.

      Congratulations Dallas, you played incredibly all 4 games. I hope you win the title.

  18. jjared1101 - May 11, 2011 at 1:55 AM


  19. mytthor - May 11, 2011 at 2:37 AM

    OK seriously, this is ridiculous. This suspension was actually quite a bit harsher than the league has done in the past. I’m not saying it should be less, but everyone needs to settle down. You know how many times people have been suspended for more games than this in the past decade? The list, not counting mandatory drug suspensions:

    The Gilbert Arenas/ Javaris Crittenton threatening each other with guns incident.

    Players going in the crowd (Indy/Detroit, The Carmelo sucker-punch brawl, Antonio Davis when he thought he was protecting his wife), Jerry Sloan and Rasheed Wallace shoving/threatening refs, and Charlie Villanueva/Rick Fox/Doug Christie lying in wait to fight people in the back of the arena.

    Bynum’s play was a stupid decision, but it was in the heat of the moment. He didn’t pull a gun or throw multiple punches, or even A punch. Plays like that were celebrated 20 years ago.

    • hoopsmccann - May 11, 2011 at 2:44 PM

      Thanks mytthor, finally a voice of reason. I think part of the reason for these comments is that it was the Lakers and now all the underlying hatred is spewing forth, and also the TV announcer’s (Mike Torrico?) nonstop commenting and gasping about it like Bynum had gone to the sidelines picked up a chair and beaten Barrea over the head with it. As you said players were INSTRUCTED to send a message 20 years ago to guards who drove the lane with impunity.

      Not a word about the smallest player in the league using the opportunity to show up the defending 2 time champions who knew they were about to be swept. Talk about Bynum being immature. You get in the reigning champions’ players faces and try to show them up at that point in the game and you can surely expect some kind of retribution. It was disrespectful, classless and stupid of Barrea. Not that he doesn’t have every right to do it, but expect consequences.

      • purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 7:54 PM

        hoops… Man am I disappointed in you for this post! Shame! Shame! Shame!

        It’s one thing to say that guys in the paint have a right to send a message to penatrating guards, but it’s another thing all together when it’s done clearly with malice and AFTER both the game and well after both the game and series had been decided upon.

        The Bynum mugging took place with LESS THAN 30 SECONDS TO PLAY in the game, with the Mavs up by double-digits. The ONLY message Bynum could have been sending is that he’s an immature ass-hole!

  20. savvybynature - May 11, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    The problem with saying that “he didn’t throw even A punch” is that throwing an elbow is incredibly more dangerous than throwing a punch. Ask anyone has done kickboxing or muy thai.
    And the problem with saying “I bet he thinks twice before going into the lane next time” is that that is not the issue here. If the Lakers adopted a team policy of kicking in the balls every tenth guy that drove the lane, that might be a deterrent too. Maybe shank someone occasionally might work? No dude. That’s not basketball. You want to stop a guy from driving lane, man up, crouch down, and move your feet. If you’re too old, retire.
    If they really want to deter this type of behavior, he should have been suspended, without pay, for 20-25 games. It’s the third time he has gone to a player in the same way, leading with the elbow. Its reprehensible and its not basketball.

    • purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      savvy…. ex cellent points!

      Rumor has it that Lakers GM Kupchak has contacted Tanya Harding and her then boyfriend and his buddy to get lessons as to how to conceal and then use a lead pipe to cripple your opponent! All I gotta say is that Barea had better watch out for his shin bones the next time the two clubs meet!

    • hoopsmccann - May 11, 2011 at 3:01 PM

      Sure savvy, tell that to Rudy Tomjanavich who had his face broken in 13 places by one punch.

      Tell that to all the fighters who were knocked out cold by one punch from Tyson (and he had gloves on).

      Also, Bynum didn’t even throw an elbow. He hit Barrea with his forearm. You throw an elbow when someones next to you or behind you.

      And sorry to inform you, but every team in the league has a policy of stopping guys who keep driving the paint, it’s called a “hard foul”. What do you think that is? And it is every bit a part of basketball.

      Man, get your facts straight and learn the game if you’re going to try to make intelligent comments.

      • purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 3:31 PM

        I’d encourage all of you to go to youtube and watch the riot in Detroit that occurred on the floor a few years back just to see what can happen and when unusually huge individuals start throwing elbows and punching, over and above their trash talking.

        I forget off hand who the player was who reared back and threw a haymaker at a (white), taunting fan who went out on the floor, but I always wished that it had landed because that yo-yo would have lost half his teeth for inserting himself into the fray. Had he landed that punch, I’m sure that we would see even tighter restrictions on cheap shots today.

        The difference between NBA on court fights and the NHL’s staged goon fights is obviously size. I know I sure wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of a big old roundhouse punch thrown by a guy 6’9, 275 pounds or more, would you?

        I’m frankly glad to see the NBA cracking down on flagrant elbows too. Karl Malone made an entire career out of getting more credit than he deserved simply because he was one of the NBA’s all time cheap shot elbow hurling thugs.

        There’s certainly nothing wrong with a “hard/message foul”, but at least pick on someone your own size. Poor Barea; it was like a man with a gun showing his manhood by blowing away a guy with a pocket knife.

      • savvybynature - May 12, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Oh I’m sorry where in my post did I say its OK to punch someone because you can’t get hurt by it?
        Oh, nowhere you say? Thanks, that’s what I thought.
        Sheesh, talk about getting your facts straight.
        And a hard foul is fine. Doesn’t require throwing an elbow. It was clearly a cheap shot, not a standard hard foul. Phil Jackson said as much, Jerry West said as much, and even Bynum admitted as much. So, if you want to continue under the delusion that it was just a typical “hard foul” and good “playoff basketball” you can, but you are wrong. Even the Lakers agree with me.

  21. wakiash - May 11, 2011 at 8:44 AM

    A lifetime ban will put a stop to such punk actions.

  22. purdueman - May 11, 2011 at 8:46 AM

    Good LA Times column today on Bynum:,0,7504467.column?page=1&utm_medium=feed&track=rss&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20latimes%2Fsports%2Fbasketball%2Fnba%2Flakers%20%28Lakers%20Blog%29&utm_content=Google%20Reader&utm_source=feedburner

  23. henryd3rd - May 11, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    He should have gotten five game suspension from the Lakers for his post game comments about trust alone. Considering how poorly he has played, how little class he has shown and how often he has been injured Bynum’s trade value is zero. And if Orlando decides to trade for Bynam and takes on his albatross of a contract that runs through the 2012-2013 season they deserve to wander in the NBA wilderness till the next Shaq or Howard appears under their Christmas tree. By the way Dwight if you are listening be careful what you wish for you might get it. Not everyone becomes a star in Tinsel Town. Just ask Andrew

  24. 1historian - May 11, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    I stand by my original statement that the fine and the suspension are a joke, given what he makes.
    Then I watched the apology. He was ashamed by what he had done and he specifically apologized to Berea. (Not that it is any big deal but) that’s good enough for me – the kid messed up, he fessed up.
    I take back the ‘thug’ part of my original post, I thank the 83 who agreed with me, (1historian @ 7:31) and the 10 who disagreed – they read the post.

    I am not now, never have been nor will I ever be a lakers fan, but up until Sunday I still respected the franchise.

    No longer – Along with the Celtics and the knicks the lakers are one of the the signature franchises of the NBA, and that disgraceful performance on Sunday brings disgrace on the whole league.

  25. Ryan Karhut - May 11, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Video of Bynum’s mid air hit

    Bynum Auditions for the NFL:

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