During the Los Angeles Lakers-Detroit Pistons contest Sunday evening, November 21, LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers was ejected from a game after punching Detroit Pistons power forward Isaiah Stewart in the face.
In the third quarter of Sunday night’s game at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, James was immediately ejected after slamming Stewart with his left elbow and fist during a Pistons free throw, CBS Sports reported.
Stewart was seen with blood streaming down his face, attempting to retaliate against James. The Pistons had to hold him back as he aggressively rushed toward James or other Lakers. James and Stewart had to be separated several times.
At the moment of the punch, the Pistons lead the Lakers 78-66.
James and Stewart were ejected from the game by referees while Russell Westbrook was given a technical foul.
According to Los Angeles Times, NBA referee crew chief Scott Foster revealed why James was booed as he walked off the court, “Upon the free throw, the initial contact was deemed a loose-ball foul by Isaiah Stewart aad then a dead-ball act by LeBron James, deemed a flagrant foul penalty two for unnecessary and excessive contact above the shoulder.”
As Daily Mail reported, Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers claimed that James did not intend to strike Stewart.
“Stewart tried to defend LeBron, ‘Bron did the same thing. Everyone in the league knows ‘Bron not a dirty guy, he didn’t mean to hit him. As soon as he did, he looked back at him, told him, ‘Oh, my bad, I didn’t try to do it,'” said Davis.
“It’s uncalled for, you got a cut above your eye, accidental, it wasn’t like it was on purpose,” added Davis.
After the game, Dwane Casey, the Pistons’ head coach, said he had spoken with Stewart: “He was upset for a reason. I don’t think James is a dirty player, but again it got them going.”
After the game, James refused to speak to the media.