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Lakers' Andrew Bynum Fined & Suspended Five Games For Hit On J.J. Barea

Andrew Bynum has been suspended the first five games of the Los Angeles Lakers 2011-12 NBA season and fined an additional $25,000 for the hit on J.J. Barea of the Dallas Mavericks in the fourth quarter of Game 4 during last weekend’s NBA Playoffs.

The hit (video here if readers have been living under a rock for past few days) was obviously unneeded as Barea sliced to the bucket in the midst of a blowout and, even though Bynum has since apologized, most non-L.A. based fans will be clamoring for more than five games since it seems that he’s kind of set a precedent for this sort of thing with similar incidents happening with Gerald Wallace and Michael Beasley in the past.

In the end, though, losing Bynum for five games certainly will be a detriment to the Lakers as they begin next season without Phil Jackson on the sidelines and no “defending NBA champions” moniker to protect. The addition $25,000 that Bynum was fined for ripping off his jersey following the incident will go to a worthy NBA charity, I’m sure, but one has to wonder how much that will affect Bynum as he’s scheduled to make over $15 million next season.