Lebron JamesLos Angeles Lakers was suspended for one game and Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart was suspended two games for his role in an ugly incident during Sunday’s Lakers-Pistons game.
The NBA announced the suspensions on Monday and both will affect Tuesday’s games. James will not play when the Lakers visit Madison Square Garden to play the New York Knicks. Stewart will miss the Pistons’ home game against Miami on Tuesday and their game Wednesday in Milwaukee.
James will lose about $ 284,000 in salary, while Stewart will lose about $ 45,000. It is the first suspension in the 19-year career of James, who has won four NBA titles with three teams.
The Lakers and Pistons will meet again on Sunday in Los Angeles, and James and Stewart will be eligible to play.
Stewart, the NBA said, was sanctioned for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing … James in an unsportsmanlike manner.” James deserved suspension “for recklessly punching Stewart in the face and starting an altercation on the court,” the NBA said.
The incident occurred in the third quarter, beginning with James and Stewart battling for position during a free throw. Their arms seemed to entwine and James swung his elbow, making contact with Stewart, who quickly had blood running above his eye. James apparently tried to defuse the situation after realizing that he had made contact with Stewart and drawn blood from him.
It didn’t take long for most of the players from both teams, along with the umpires, coaches and security personnel, to join the fray and try to keep James and Stewart apart. Within 25 seconds of James’ contact, there were at least 25 people on the ground. Referee Phenizee Ransom joined James.
The cooler heads seemed to prevail, for a moment. Stewart was taken away from the spot where the contact occurred by teammates and coaches, though he appeared to become more enraged along the way. Then he tried to back off, multiple times, and run towards James. Several people again blocked his path and made sure the incident did not get worse.
Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Stewart needed eight points to close the wound, adding that he didn’t think what Stewart did in reaction to the play warranted a suspension.
His eye widened. I was upset for a reason, ”Casey said.