You would think that the player who committed the fault and the injury would be the one who gets the stiffest suspension, but this apparently does not apply when one of the players involved is LeBron James.
On Sunday night, LeBron and the Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons 121-116. But before the final buzzer sounded, LeBron flagrantly fouled Detroit’s Isaiah Stewart as the Pistons were shooting free throws. James’ low blow left Stewart bloodied and understandably enraged.
LeBron and Isaiah Stewart get started 😳
– Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) 22 November 2021
James’ Flagrant 2 only earned him his second suspension in his nearly 20-year career.
LeBron was kicked out after the Lakers-Pistons game got physical.
This is his second career expulsion. pic.twitter.com/upt5lWjKIQ
– ESPN (@espn) 22 November 2021
Another angle shows just how excruciatingly excruciating James’ cheap shot really was. Stewart clearly had leverage on him and was being pushed aside.
LeBron was ejected after this blatant foul of 2 pic.twitter.com/CLbr3h6Zrz
– NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) 22 November 2021
On Monday, it was announced that James would be suspended one game for the incident and Stewart would receive a two-game suspension.
As the AP reports:
The NBA announced the suspensions on Monday, and both will affect Tuesday’s games. James will not be playing when the Lakers visit Madison Square Garden to face the New York Knicks. Stewart will miss the Pistons’ home game against Miami on Tuesday and their game in Milwaukee on Wednesday.
James will lose about $ 284,000 in salary, while Stewart will lose about $ 45,000. This is the first suspension in a 19-year career for James, who has won four NBA titles with three teams.
Stewart, the NBA said, was sanctioned for “escalating an altercation on the field by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing… James in an unsportsmanlike manner.” James earned the suspension “for recklessly punching Stewart in the face and starting an argument on the field,” the NBA said.
Yes, Stewart was upset. However, he had a great reason to be after being missed for the crime to simply be in a better position than LeBron James to get the rebound back. Still, it was LeBron who caused the injury and initiated the fault. Therefore, there is no way that it will be suspended for less games that Stewart. If the association wants to give Stewart two games for overload and “escalation” of the situation, fine. But James is also expected to get two games.