LeBron Suspended Following On-Court Scuffle
Los Angeles Lakers LeBron James and Detroit Pistons Isaiah Stewart both received ejections from the game Sunday night. The Los Angeles Lakers went on to win the ball game 121-116, per ESPN. However, James’ actions seemed to be a bit concerning towards Stewart in the middle of fighting for a rebounding position. Ultimately, the hit led to a stoppage of the game completely, due to the excessive bleeding coming from Stewart’s eye from the hit. The altercation proceeding this event was a bit overwhelming for both fans, coaches, and security to control.
LeBron James was ejected with a flagrant 2 foul on Isaiah Stewart.
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 22, 2021
Initially, Stewart was whistled for a loss ball foul. However, later on, after they reviewed the play they soon reversed the call. The referees took a look and changed the call to a flagrant two foul which automatically results in an ejection. Stewart was also dealt two technical fouls which resulted in him being ejected as well. Russell Westbrook coming to the aid of his teammate which he’s been known to do historically was rewarded a technical foul also.
The crew chief, Scott Foster, said Westbrook was deemed to be “an escalator and not a peacemaker” which is the reason his actions later resulted in a tech. Foster also said Stewart was assessing two technical fouls for “multiple unsportsmanlike acts during the altercation,” per ESPN.
The Lakers’ Thoughts on the Incident
The ejection was just the second of James’ 19-year career, per sources. His first ever came in 2017, when James played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and hosted the Miami Heat.
“Everyone in the league knows LeBron’s not a dirty guy,” 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.'”
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel said Stewart initiated the contact but did not fight or object to James’ ejection. He believed it was justified and a part of the game.
“[James] had an elbow [from Stewart] to the rib cage, which was a foul and he was trying to shed the contact,” Vogel said. “And had incidental contact that was obviously enough for a flagrant 2.”
LeBron James ended the game with ten points in 21 minutes which extended his double-digit score streak to 1,048 games, which is the best in league history, per ESPN.
Los Angeles Lakers Grow Stronger as a Team
Davis and many others were surprised by Stewart’s reaction. Although, one can see the severeness of the cut left by the altercation with James. Stewart received five stitches after the game.
“I don’t know what he was trying to do,” Davis said. “But I know nobody on our team, 1 through 15, was having it. We’re going to protect our brother. I’ve never, in 10 years, seen a player try to do that as long as I’ve been playing. … It’s uncalled for. You got a cut above your eye, accidental-like, it wasn’t on purpose. And we weren’t going to allow him to keep charging our brother like that. I don’t know what he was trying to do, but we weren’t going to allow that.”
Vogel is saddened by the altercation being the biggest takeaway from the game. He believes this was a legitimate team win and is something to build off going forward for the Lakers.
“To me, it’s one of those things that can change the momentum of your season,” Vogel said.”To see guys rally around a teammate that just got ejected like that in a strange circumstance. Played with incredible guts.”