LeBron apologists will try and defend this, but what James did to Stewart is inexcusable. James was tagged with a flagrant-2 foul and ejected after viciously punching Stewart in the face as the two battled for position during a Jerami Grant free throw.
It was the cheapest of cheap shots.
LeBron James was ejected for a vicious cheap shot on Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart.
Stewart went down and popped back up, looking for a fight as the blood poured from his face. The Detroit Pistons’ center appeared to have a significant gash near his eye as a plethora of players and coaches tried to suppress the situation.
Say what you want about how great of a player LeBron James is, but we all know if this were the other way around, James would still be lying on the court inside Little Caesars Arena.
Stewart immediately understood what happened and it’s intent. Maybe Stewart shouldn’t have reacted in the manner he did, but watching the replay over and over, it’s hard to blame him.
Stewart tried to get at James, and then it seemed like anyone donning a Lakers uniform and needed to be restrained on multiple occasions. James and Stewart locked up early before being separated; after that, James clearly didn’t want any part of an enraged Beef Stew.
Unfortunately, Stewart was also ejected for the altercation. That left the Detroit Pistons widely undermanned at the center position, with Kelly Olynyk injured left no one to guard Anthony Davis. Davis finished with 30 points and ten boards, while Russell Westbrook added 26 points, nine boards, and ten assists.
The Detroit Pistons led 68-61 at the half and squandered a 17-point second-half lead to eventually fall 121-116 to the Lakers.
Detroit Pistons rookie Cade Cunningham recorded his first career triple-double, making him the youngest player in franchise history to achieve the feat. Cunningham finished the night with 13 points, 12 boards, and ten assists, shooting 1/9 from beyond the arc and only 6/21 from the field.
Grant led the Pistons with a season-high 36 points shooting 12/25 from the field and 5/9 from three-point range.
It will be interesting to see how the league handles this. Do they dare punish their poster boy, LeBron James? Unlikely. But, I do suspect Stewart will be sidelined for multiple games for his actions.
These two teams square off next Sunday in Los Angeles, November 28th, at 9:30 pm Est. It is the year’s final meeting between the two, so expect the league to consider that as they hand down their punishment.
Stewart had already been a fan favorite, and he’s quickly becoming a legend around Detroit. His style of play reminds us of the Bad Boys era, and Sunday night, he proved he’s got a little bit of Ben Wallace in him. Mix the two, and you’ve got a legend in these parts.