The star of the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James, was expelled in the game that the Lakers won this morning against the Pistons after being sanctioned with a flagrant Type 2 foul for striking his elbow in the face of Pistons player Isaiah Stewart.
The blow left a large gash on Stewart’s face with gushing blood that greatly enraged the player, who repeatedly tried to charge James while his teammates and coaches tried unsuccessfully to calm him down. unleashing a great brawl between the players and the court staff.
The fight began with Detroit leading 78-66 with 9:18 to play in the third quarter. James slammed his elbow into Stewart’s face as he struggled for rebound position on a free throw. Stewart faced James unleashing a monumental tangana in which Stewart had to be restrained by his own teammates and court security personnel as he tried to take justice into his own hands.
When everything calmed down, the play was reviewed and James was expelled when the referees understood that his hit was intentional and therefore punishable by a flagrant type 2 offense. Stewart received two technical fouls for his behavior and was also sent off, and Lakers point guard Russell Westbrook was called for a technical foul. Referees had security guards escort LeBron to the locker room just in case Stewart was waiting to confront him again.
Anthony Davis, LeBron’s teammate, said it was an unintentional act. “Stewart tried to be physical with LeBron and LeBron did the same,” Davis said shortly after the game ended. “Everybody knows LeBron isn’t a dirty guy. As soon as he did that, he looked back at” Stewart and said, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t try to do it.’ On the brawl that came after the hit he commented “I don’t know what (Stewart) was trying to do … I’ve never seen a player get like that, he was out of place. You got a cut above your eye, accidentally, it didn’t go to purpose. We weren’t going to allow him to keep accusing our brother like that. “
In his 18 seasons in the NBA, LeBron had only been expelled once, for protesting the referees, in 2017, when he was a member of the Cavaliers and played against the Heat, his former team.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Stewart received nine points to repair the injury. He also added that he should not be sanctioned by the NBA. “He was upset,” Casey said. “He shouldn’t face anything. Not going back off the court is punishment enough. I don’t think the NBA should sanction him.”
The game ended with a tight 121-116 in favor of the Lakers thanks to the great work of Anthony Davis (30 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 blocks and 4 steals).
To add more spice to the matter, Lakers and Pistons will meet again next Sunday in Los Angeles.
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