LeBron James was ejected from the LA Lakers’ 121-116 victory over Detroit Pistons after receiving a flagrant foul 2 for slamming his left fist into the face of Isaiah Stewart.
The NBA superstar left a big gash in Stewart’s face with blood pouring out of it and was subsequently dismissed for his second career ejection.
An enraged Stewart repeatedly tried to charge at James as his teammates and coaches unsuccessfully tried to calm him down.
The fracas began with Detroit holding a 78-66 lead with 9:18 left in the third
James connected with Stewart’s face after a free throw and the Piston confronted the 36-year-old.
Stewart, who initially refused to leave the court, was also eventually ejected for his actions.
Incredibly, security guards had to escort him to the locker room in case Stewart was plotting another attempt to confront him.
James did not speak to the media following the game, but Lakers forward
Anthony Davis said it was an unintentional act on the part of James.
“Stewart tried to get physical with LeBron and LeBron did the same thing,”
Davis said shortly after the game concluded. “Everybody in the league knows
LeBron’s not a dirty guy. As soon as he did it, he looked back at him and
said, ‘Oh, my bad, I didn’t try to do it.’
“I don’t (know) what (Stewart) was trying to do. I’ve never seen a player
try to do that since I’ve been playing. I know we’ve seen it before (back) in
the day. That was uncalled for. You got a cut above your eye, accidentally, it
wasn’t on purpose. We weren’t going to allow him to keep charging our brother like that.”
James’ other ejection came when he played for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He was tossed for arguing during a 108-97 victory over the Miami Heat on Nov. 28, 2017.
James had 10 points and five assists in 21 minutes before Sunday’s ejection. Stewart had four points in 19 minutes.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey said that Stewart received eight to nine stitches to repair the gash. He also said he shouldn’t be disciplined by the league.
“He was upset,” Casey said. “He shouldn’t be facing anything. Not getting off
the court in time (is a small thing). I don’t see any ramifications from the league on that.”
The Lakers and Pistons play again next Sunday in Los Angeles.
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