LeBron Banned After Wild Brawl Against Pistons

LeBron Banned After Wild Brawl Against Pistons Photo: TT
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James is ejected after fouling Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart during the second half of an NBA basketball game

Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James has been slapped with a one-game ban for “recklessly hitting” Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart which initiated Sunday’s ugly brawl.

The incident occurred with the Los Angeles Lakers down by 12 points in the third quarter, with James ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul along with Stewart.

Stewart reacted angrily after an errant James’ elbow at a free-throw left his right eye bloodied, before the Pistons center repeatedly charged at the Lakers star amid wild scenes.

The Lakers went on to storm back with a 37-17 fourth quarter to win 121-116 but James’ ejection was the talking point.

Lakers teammate Anthony Davis had defended James after the game, insisting that “everybody in the NBA knows he’s not a dirty guy”.

But the NBA confirmed on Monday that James had been sanctioned with a one-game ban for “recklessly hitting”.

Stewart was handed a two-game suspension for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing” James.

It is the first suspension in James’ 19-year NBA career. The two sides are due to meet again on Sunday, with both suspensions to be completed by then.

Lakers head coach Frank Vogel added: “It was unfortunate contact. (LeBron) had an elbow to the ribcage, which was a foul and he was trying to shed the contact, and he had incidental contact.

“It was obviously enough for a Flagrant 2, but the reaction was what it was, and I think our guys did a good job protecting a teammate but not trying to escalate.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer @bensomerford
Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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