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Infamous Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James is in the news again, this time for violence on the court.
The incident took place during the Pistons-Lakers game in the Caesars Arena in Detroit on Sunday, as James was scrambling for position with Isaiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons, as Pistons forward Jerami Grant attempted a free throw during the third quarter.
James is seen on video hitting Stewart square in the face with his left elbow and fist, causing Stewart to bleed profusely from his face. While Stewart dropped to the ground clutching his face, James appeared to realize the seriousness of the situation and offered a hand to Stewart. This did not mollify a furious Stewart, however and a shoving match ensued while the two screamed at each other, with Stewart having to be restrained by his teammates and coaches.
Slow-motion footage removes any doubt about what took place:
Lebron James is 100% responsible for the altercation in the Lakers vs Pistons game pic.twitter.com/V9NzC1MIdP
— HIsiah Thomas (@RedAlternates) November 22, 2021
Both teams jumped out of their benches and piled onto the court and, for a moment, it looked like there would be a large scale fight, and fans had to be reminded to stay in their seats, lest there be a repeat of an even bigger free for all, such as at the “Malice at the Palace” incident in 2004 that involved fans battling teammates and each other.
Eventually, James and Stewart were both ejected from the game, James for hitting Stewart, and a bloodied Stewart for repeatedly trying to break free from his team to lunge at his attacker amid the ensuing pandemonium.
ISAIAH STEWART WANTS LEBRON pic.twitter.com/gw6u84Pqr6
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) November 22, 2021
It might not end there, however.
The current process for these sorts of disputes is to have officials from the NBA review the footage of the altercation and conduct interviews as they try to determine if further punishments such as fines and suspensions are called for. A spokesman for the NBA says they expect to reach a decision on the incident before the Pistons and Lakers play their next games Tuesday in Detroit and New York, respectively, according to statements given to the Daily Mail.
James is potentially looking at a suspension, but probably for no more than two or three games when compared to rulings given for similar incidents. A few such incidents being used as measuring sticks are the 2018 suspension of then-Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul, who was suspended for two games for poking the Lakers’ Rajon Rondo in the eye and then throwing punches as the scuffle escalated. JR Smith was given a two-game suspension for punching Jae Crowder in 2015 during a playoff game.
James has also been in the news for a variety of unsavory activities, from mocking the tears of Kyle Rittenhouse during his trial (despite James being no stranger to turning on the waterworks in public), to his cozy relationship with the Communist regime in China, despite criticism from opposing players over it.
If James does receive a suspension, it would be the first time for him since he was a high school senior in 2003, for accepting two expensive jerseys with price tags of over $800, which violated the rules for amateurs in Ohio.
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