LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart have been suspended for their roles in a bench clearing confrontation.
According to ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski, the Los Angeles Lakers forward will miss Tuesday’s (November 23) game at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks while the Detroit Pistons forward was suspended for two games.
Subsequently, according to the New York Post, the NBA stated that Stewart was suspended for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing.” The league deemed James’ actions unwarranted “for recklessly hitting Stewart in the face and initiating an on-court altercation.”
James will lose around $284,000 in salary while Stewart will forfeit about $45,000.
Players on both teams attempted to break up the fight, though James’ teammate Russell Westbrook was given a technical foul during the altercation.
Nobody knows for sure why it happened, but it did. L.A. Lakers’ superstar LeBron James found himself watching the game between his team and the Detroit Pistons from the locker room after he was ejected and the two teams threw blows.
The tense moment took place Sunday (Nov. 21) in a match against the Detroit Pistons when James clipped the Pistons’ center Isaiah Stewart hard in the face with an elbow while positioning for a rebound, leaving the Detroit big man bloody and enraged.
According to ESPN, that was just the second time in King James’ 19-year career that referees threw him out of the game. The last time it happened was in 2017 when the superstar was playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers hosting his former team Miami Heat.
"Everyone in the league knows LeBron's not a dirty guy," Lakers’ Anthony Davis said. "In fact, when he knew he hit him, as soon as he did it, he looked back at him like, 'Oh, my bad. I didn't try to do it.'"
After the game at Detroit’s Little Caesars Arena, Pistons coach Dwane Case said, "It was a tough play with Isaiah. His eye got cracked all the way open, and he was upset for a reason. So, I don't think James is a dirty player, but again, it got them going."
With blood streaming down Stewart’s face, the referees temporarily stopped the game.
Stewart erupted, as his teammates held him back from charging James amid the chaos on the basketball court. After a review of what happened, the officials assessed a flagrant foul 2 and ejected the perennial all-star from the game. He could face further disciplinary action, including a possible suspension.
The refs also penalized Stewart, who received five stitches after the game, with two technical fouls and ejected him.
In the end, the Lakes triumphed 121-116 over the Pistons. James played for 21 minutes, scored 10 points and had one rebound.
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