9. The flagrant foul on Gerald Wallace (1/27/09)
Don’t confuse this flagrant foul with the one Bynum put on J.J. Barea in the 2011 Playoffs. For starters, I don’t think the Wallace one was reckless or with the intent to harm, whereas the Barea one was an embarrassment to both Bynum and the franchise. Even though Wallace suffered a collapsed lung and broken ribs, here’s what Wallace’s then-teammate Ray Felton said about the foul:
“I’m not going to make a big assumption, but was it a hard foul? No question. But I don’t think Andrew Bynum was trying to hurt somebody.”
Keep in mind that the Lakers were coming off the 2008 Finals in which they were labeled as soft. A Google search of “Lakers Gasol Soft 2008” returns over 420,000 results. “Pau Gasoft” yields 91,600 by itself. Bynum’s foul on Wallace and Trevor Ariza’s foul on Rudy Fernandez changed their rep from soft to dirty. Even if it was untrue, there isn’t a player in the league who’d rather be labeled soft than dirty.
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