O.C. Register: Just 2:19 into the game, it happened again … and Andrew Bynum’s world stopped.
In almost the same spot under the same Staples Center basket where Bynum crumpled last season, he froze, cringed and grabbed his knee.
Bynum had been caught flat-footed Sunday night by Memphis center Marc Gasol’s baseline spin move. Bynum’s just-healed right knee had been left out there in a wide stance, the exposed leg planted like an orange cone for the big guy Memphis fans call “The Tank” to crush.
The 265-pound Gasol did, in fact, drive forward through Bynum’s leg. One guy’s right knee mashed into the other guy’s. Bynum bent over at the waist, checking for reasons to fall to the floor.
“I stood there and braced myself,” he said. “Then I thought, ‘OK, it’s all right.’”
Not even a minute later came a forceful follow-up Bynum dunk over Memphis’ O.J. Mayo, then a nice Bynum layup set up by Kobe Bryant’s understanding that Memphis had gotten back on defense, but no one as big and strong as Bynum had gotten back.