By TIM REYNOLDS
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers has been suspended for one game and Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart was suspended two games for their roles in an ugly incident during Sunday’s Lakers-Pistons game.
The NBA announced the suspensions Monday, and both will affect games on Tuesday. James will not play when the Lakers visit Madison Square Garden to play the New York Knicks. Stewart will miss the Pistons’ home game against Miami on Tuesday and their game Wednesday at Milwaukee.
James will forfeit about $284,000 in salary, while Stewart will lose about $45,000. It is the first suspension in the 19-year career of James, who has won four NBA titles with three teams.
The Lakers and Pistons meet again Sunday in Los Angeles.
Stewart, the NBA said, was disciplined for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing ... James in an unsportsmanlike manner.” James merited the suspension “for recklessly hitting Stewart in the face and initiating an on-court altercation,” the NBA said.
The incident happened in the third quarter as James and Stewart were jostling for position during a free throw. Their arms appeared to get intertwined and James swung his elbow, making contact with Stewart, who quickly had blood streaming from above his eye.
Pistons center Isaiah Stewart was furious after LeBron James inadvertently made contact with his face. The teams had to be separated multiple times resulting in both Stewart and James being ejected. pic.twitter.com/8SR0DTunFT— Spectrum SportsNet (@SpectrumSN) November 22, 2021
Cooler heads seemed to prevail, for a moment. Stewart was guided away from the spot where the contact occurred by teammates and coaches, though he appeared to become more incensed along the way. He then tried to double back and run toward where James was. A number of people again blocked his path and made sure the ugly incident didn’t get uglier.
Stewart was assessed two technical fouls, James was assessed a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2, and both players were ejected from the game.