The Lakers and Pistons had to be separated multiple times after this play between LeBron and Isaiah Stewart. pic.twitter.com/im0o7fXeoI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 22, 2021
James was suspended one game for his role in the incident. Stewart, on the other hand, received a two-game suspension.
James recently broke his silence on his suspension and made his feelings very clear about the league’s decision.
“I mean, it’s some bulls—,” he told ESPN. “But whatever.”
James’ suspension caused him to miss the Lakers’ contest against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden earlier this week. The 36-year-old explained that he was “devastated” over missing a game at that venue.
“I was devastated,” he told ESPN. “It’s my favorite place in the world to play, so I was looking forward to it. But it is what it is.”
The 17-time All-Star returned to action on Wednesday for Los Angeles’ game against the Indiana Pacers. He put together a fantastic performance, racking up 39 points, five rebounds and six assists in a win.
After the game, he offered his side of the story on the Stewart incident.
“There was a boxout on the free throw line,” James said. “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. 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.”
He explained that he isn’t happy with how the situation escalated.
“I hate to see that, what escalated after that,” James said. “I didn’t think it warranted [a suspension]. I thought it warranted an ejection because of what happened after that. Having me, probably, still in the game and the excitement from the fans and what could possibly happen after that, obviously. But a suspension, I didn’t think it was warranted. But the league made that call, and we’re here today.”
The Lakers and Pistons will play again in just a few days, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see if James and Stewart exchange words.
In the meantime, L.A. will hope to get a win over the Sacramento Kings at home on Friday. The Lakers are looking to get their season back on track after sputtering out of the gate.