*LeBron James will serve a one-game suspension after his on-court altercation with Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, who has been suspended for two games.
We reported earlier that the Los Angeles Lakers star and the Detroit Pistons forward were ejected following an all-out brawl Sunday in which James elbowed Stewart in the face and Stewart tried in vain to retaliate.
The incident happened with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter and the Pistons leading 78-66 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Detroit’s Jerami Grant had just made a free throw as James and Stewart jockeyed for position. James swung his left forearm with force and struck Stewart square in the head, causing blood to gush near Stewart’s right eye. Initially, James gestured empathetically to Stewart, appearing to convey that the elbow was an accident. But Stewart still took offense, springing up toward James.
The following was released by the NBA. pic.twitter.com/blyOFowWQ3
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) November 22, 2021
Lakers players swarmed and a melee erupted that took several minutes to resolve. Several Pistons, including coach Dwane Casey, rookie Cade Cunningham and security, tried to restrain Stewart, who knocked multiple people over trying to free himself and go after Lakers players. It took nearly two minutes to get Stewart off the court.
This marks the first suspension for James in his 19-year career.
Per PEOPLE, the league said in a statement: “Isaiah Stewart has been suspended two games without pay for escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James in an unsportsmanlike manner,” the statement read in part. “[LeBron] James has been suspended one game without pay for recklessly hitting Stewart in the face and initiating an on-court altercation.”
“Everyone in the league knows LeBron not a dirty guy. As soon as he did it, he looked back at him, telling him, ‘My bad I didn’t try to do it,'” Lakers star Anthony Davis told reporters.
According to the report, James will sit out the Lakers game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday. Stewart will not play with the Pistons against the Miami Heat on Tuesday. He will also sit out the Milwaukee Bucks matchup on Wednesday.
LeBron and Isaiah Stewart get into it 😳
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 22, 2021