The NBA just punished LeBron James for his involvement in a fight during the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons game on Sunday. On Monday night, the league announced that James is suspended one game without pay for hitting Pistons center Isaiah Stewart in the face and "initiating an on-court altercation." Stewart is suspended for two games without pay for "escalating an on-court altercation" by going after James.
The incident happened in the third quarter when James and Stewart were fighting for position during a free throw. As that happened James, swung his elbow which hit Stewart in the face and had blood streaming above his eye. Stewart tried to go after James, but his teammates and coaches held him back. Stewart got angrier and began to run over his teammates to attempt to get to James. Stweart earned two technical fouls and will forfeit $45,000 of his salary, according to ESPN. He will serve his suspensions Tuesday, Nov. 23 and Wednesday, Nov. 24.
James was assessed with a Flagrant 2 foul and will forfeit about $284,000 of his salary. This is the first time that James has been suspended in his 19 year career. After the game, Lakers star Anthony Davis spoke to reporters about the incident stressed that James is not a dirty player.
"Everyone in the league knows LeBron's not a dirty guy," Davis told reporters, per Insider. "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.'" Davis also talked about how Stewart was not going to get to James. "I don't know what he was trying to do," Davis said, per ESPN. "But I know nobody on our team, 1 through 15, was having it. We're going to protect our brother. I've never, in 10 years, seen a player try to do that as long as I've been playing. ... It's uncalled for. You got a cut above your eye, accidental-like, it wasn't on purpose.
"And we weren't going to allow him to keep charging our brother like that. I don't know what he was trying to do, but we wasn't going to allow that." James will miss the Lakers' game against the New York Knicks on Tuesday.