Contributed by Lauren Taylor
Sunday during the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons. LeBron James swung at Detroits big man, Isaiah Stewart, with a closed fist, while the two were battling for rebounding position.
LeBron has been ejected after this flagrant 2 foul pic.twitter.com/CLbr3h6Zrz
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) November 22, 2021
Stewart is seen bleeding profusely all over his face, he is visibly angry as he tries to get to James from across the court. All players and fans were reminded of the infamous “Malice at the Palace” incident that happened nearly 17 years ago between the Pistons and the Indiana Pacers. Fans were urged to stay in their seats and stay off the court to ensure something like that wouldn’t occur again.
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The incident took place with 9:18 remaining in the third quarter and the Lakers down by 12. Both were ejected from the game, James for a flagrant foul 2 and Stewart for two technical fouls. Russell Westbrook, Lakers guard, also received a technical foul. According to crew chief Scott Foster, Westbrook received a technical foul because he was “an escalator and not a peacemaker.”
There are different views as to where the hit was intentional or not. ESPN reported, Lakers big man Anthony Davis had this to say about his fellow teammate, “Everyone in the league knows LeBron’s not a dirty guy. 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.'”
Predicitons vary on suspension of the players due to the incident, some say based on previous situations James’ may be suspended for 2 or 3 games.
This was James’ second ejection of his 19-year career, the first being during a Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat game back in 2017.