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Andrew Bynum caught parking in a handicapped spot

July 19, 2011 |  4:21 pm

Andrew Bynum

It's not a stretch to think Lakers center Andrew Bynum would at some point need to park in a handicapped spot.

He's spent much of his six-year NBA career either in a wheelchair or on crutches because of his numerous knee injuries. But these aren't one of these times, with Bynum finally finishing a season without needing extended off-season treatment on his knees and feeling healthy enough to take some boxing lessons. So there's absolutely no excuse for Bynum, as shown in these photos obtained by NBC4, to double park his black BMW recently across two handicap spots. 

It wouldn't be surprising if he made some type of forced apology much like the way he did two days after delivering a forearm shove to Dallas guard J.J. Barea, marking the third player to whom he has delivered a cheap shot as they drove into the lane.

But Bynum didn't even do that, as he reportedly  slammed his car door and drove off when NBC4 questioned him about the allegations.

To make matters worse, this isn't the first time Bynum's been caught showing disrespect toward the handicapped spaces that help the physically disabled. The Times' T.J. Simers received an e-mailed photo in May from a reader catching Bynum in the act of parking across a white-and-blue painted handicapped space directly in front of a blue handicapped sign outside a Bank of America in Playa del Rey. 

No one would ever defend Bynum over this because this is just downright wrong. But some may claim the 23-year-old is simply naive, much like the way he was caught partying at the Playboy Mansion two years ago while rehabbing his knee during a Lakers' extended trip. Many, including myself, have rarely found him to be intentionally mean-spirited. He sounded cynical enough, however, during his exit interview to argue the media criticism surrounding his Game 4 ejection will die down once he performs well the next season. "I go out and score 50 the next day, the national media will be different." So he's surely cynical enough to believe he could get away with parking in a handicap spot just so he could save time running errands.  

"It’s a terrible image and perception when something like this happens," DMV deputy chief Vito Scattaglia told NBC4 after the station showed him the pictures. "That does infuriate me, because there are those people that truly need that space."

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Photo: Lakers center Andrew Bynum was reportedly seen parking in a handicapped space. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times / May 10, 2011.