Sunday’s altercation occurred with 9:18 remaining within the third quarter and the Lakers trailing 78-66 in Detroit. As a free throw was being tried, James swung his arm backward whereas boxing out for a rebound, hitting Stewart.
The foul led to a protracted sport stoppage whereas Stewart, with blood coming down his face, needed to be held again by Detroit coaches and gamers as he tried to confront James on a number of events. Stewart was additionally ejected from the sport.
The Lakers would go on to win 121-116.
Both James and Stewart didn’t converse to the media postgame. CNN has reached out to the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Lakers for remark.
Lakers teammate Anthony Davis got here to the protection of James after the sport, saying that James is not a “dirty guy” and that he wasn’t certain why Stewart reacted the way in which he did.
“I’ve never, in 10 years, seen a player try to do that as long as I’ve been playing, at least in basketball. It’s uncalled for. You got a cut above your eye, accidental — like, it wasn’t on purpose. And we weren’t going to allow him to keep charging our brother like that,” Davis stated.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel stated he spoke to James within the locker room after the sport.
“Yeah, that’s really something that should stay in the locker room,” Vogel stated. “I mean, I talked to him, yup, but I’m not going to disclose what his message was.”
“I told him, ‘Don’t let this define who you are. It doesn’t define your game whatsoever.’ I felt for the young man because he’s such a competitor and he plays so hard. He’s a great kid but he felt like he got cheap-shotted across his brow and on the street, it would be a different story,” Casey stated.