1. The Shaq Incident (1/16/06)
Imagine you just turned 18 and graduated from high school six months ago. Now imagine that it’s Martin Luther King Day and you’re thrown into a nationally televised game and forced to match up with future Hall of Famer, Shaquille O’Neal — the man you were drafted to replace and perhaps the most physically intimidating basketball player who ever lived. That’s what happened to Bynum. And he lived up to the challenge. O’Neal had won the first three match-ups with the Lakers since being traded to Miami. The fourth would be the charm for the Lakers. First, Shaq welcomes Bynum to the league with a put-back dunk right over him. And just when you think Bynum might ball himself into a fetal position and cry uncontrollably, he does the exact opposite. Instead, he returns the favor by embarrassing Shaq in the building O’Neal once dubbed “The House That Shaq Built”. What followed after was a near fight between the two. Even though Baby Bynum looks like he might poop in his shorts, it’s clear that Shaq felt humiliated.
Just listen to how the crowd reacts. I was there so I can tell you how electric it was. If there was a moment that signified that the Lakers were over the Shaq trade and finally ready to move on, this was it:
So long, Drew! And thanks for the memories.