LeBron James was fined for a gesture he made during the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Indiana Pacers game on Thursday night. The NBA announced that James has been fined $15,000 for an "obscene gesture" and was warned about using profane language. He made the gesture after making a shot late in the game en route to a Lakers' victory.
'The incident occurred with 1:17 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 124-116 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday at Gainbridge Fieldhouse," said the NBA statement. This comes on the heels of James being suspended for an altercation with Isaiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons last weekend. James was suspended for just one game and told reporters he didn't mean to hit Stewart in the face.
"There was a boxout on the free throw line. His elbow got kind of high, it got me — if you look, if you watch the film — it got me off balanced a little bit, and his elbow lifted my arm, and I basically tried to swim move, swim down on him, on his arm," James said. "And when I swung down on his arm, he got off balance and the left side of my hand grazed his face. And I knew right away. So, I knew right away I had caught some part of his head. So, I went over to apologize to him, and obviously, you guys saw what happened after that. But definitely accidental."
Stewart is doesn't believe it was an accident. "I watched the film," Stewart told reporters on Friday, per the New York Post. "Me personally, like I said, I didn't feel like it was an accident. But this is my last time addressing it. My main focus right now is on my teammates and getting back to playing basketball. I'm not going to let that define who I am. I'm going to let what Detroit drafted me for define who I am."
James is looking to get the Lakers back on track after losing to the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the playoffs last season. He led the team to an NBA title in 2020, which is the fourth championship he has won in his career.