“There was a boxout on the free throw line. 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,” James said. “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.”
James, who said he has not spoken to Stewart since the incident, said his case was only made stronger in the days since the Lakers-Pistons game, pointing out how Russell Westbrook got a bloody lip from the Knicks' Quentin Grimes on Tuesday and how James himself was hit in the face by Domantas Sabonis in the Pacers game, requiring a bandage on his eyelid afterward. "I hate to see that, what escalated after that," James continued. "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."
LeBron James was napping in the city that never sleeps on Monday when the NBA announced that the Los Angeles Lakers star would be suspended for the first time in his 19-year career and have to miss Tuesday's game against the New York Knicks. "Rob [Pelinka] called me. I missed his call," James told ESPN of the Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager dialing in the bad news. "As soon as when I checked my phone and it was a missed call, I was like, 'I know I'm suspended.' "I mean, it's some bulls---. But whatever."
The Sunday night scuffle between LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart gained enough notoriety that even a porn star offered her criticism of Anthony Davis’ postgame comments about Stewart. Kendra Lust: "If Anthony Davis wanted that smoke .. he said he was not having it ..you would have met Beef Stew on his way coming .. tripping over your own feet in all this and falling down 🤨 my guess AD never been in a fight in his life just my thoughts." Davis had dismissed criticism of James being a dirty player after James’ fist connected with Stewart during the game. “Beef Stew” refers to Stewart’s nickname.
Bobby Marks: The suspension will cost LeBron James $284,004 and Isaiah Stewart $45,201 ($22,601 per game). In addition, the Lakers will receive a $142,002 credit toward the luxury that that projects to save them $532,508.
Reggie Miller: Isaiah Stewart catapulted himself into the Charles Oakley, Buck Williams, Dale n Antonio Davis conversation of dudes you NEVER want to mess with. However long Isaiah plays in this league, dudes will walk on eggshells around him. That’s GREAT news for Piston fans..
Mike Trudell: Frank Vogel said the NBA is doing due diligence to review the incident from last night in Detroit. He’s focused on how the Lakers “bottle up the determination we played with,” which “hasn’t been there enough” so far this season. Last night’s adversity brought them together.
Rod Beard: When #Pistons Isaiah Stewart was charging toward LeBron James, it was Cade Cunningham who tried three times to put himself between Stewart and James. I asked him what he was thinking. His response: "I'm trying to stop him from maybe getting into trouble ... I don't know."
Arash Markazi: LeBron James opens as the favorite if he and Isaiah Stewart want to settle their feud in a boxing ring, according to @BovadaOfficial .
Davis was surprised by the retaliatory measures attempted by the Pistons' second-year center, who required five stitches after the game. "I don't know what he was trying to do," Davis said. "But I know nobody on our team, 1 through 15, was having it. We're going to protect our brother. I've never, in 10 years, seen a player try to do that as long as I've been playing. ... 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. I don't know what he was trying to do, but we wasn't going to allow that."
The PA announcers in Detroit were forced to take action too, constantly reminding fans to stay in their seats while also imploring them to not throw any objects at James when he was ejected and headed up the tunnel. “Fans stay in your seats, do not come onto the floor,” he said. “Do not enter the floor. All fans stay in your seats. Do not come onto the floor and do not throw any objects. Don’t do it or you will be nabbed and sent to jail. Stay where you are.”
Rod Beard: #Pistons Dwane Casey on Isaiah Stewart incident: "He shouldn't be facing anything. Not getting off the court in time (is a small thing)...I don't see any ramifications from the league on that."
Kyle Goon: Frank Vogel says he thinks the Lakers did a good job protecting LeBron, but not escalating the situation. Says you want "peacemakers" in those circumstances.
Kyle Goon: Anthony Davis: "Everyone in the league knows LeBron is not a dirty guy." Says that the moment he realized he had clocked Stewart, LeBron was trying to apologize and say "my bad." Once Stewart was charging, AD says "I don't know what he was doing, but we wasn't going to allow that
Kyle Goon: Anthony Davis: "We're not promoting violence. I'm not promoting violence. Our security and their security did a hell of a job." Points to his security guard as he leaves the press conference room for the shoutout.
Dave McMenamin: Lakers get back to .500 at 9-9 with a come-from-behind win in Detroit, 121-116, in a game LeBron was ejected for striking Isaiah Stewart in the face. AD 30p 10r 6a 5b 4s; Westbrook 26p 10a 9r 2s; Melo 18p on 5-of-8 from 3; Dwight 13p on 5-of-6 5r.
Rod Beard: #Lakers LeBron James has been ejected from the game for a hit on #Pistons Isaiah Stewart.
Rod Beard: On the replay, it looks like LeBron James got Isaiah Stewart with an elbow or a punch. That's where the blood came from apparently.
December 3, 2021 | 6:31 pm EST Update
Quinton Mayo: There’s a strong possibility Rui Hachimura doesn’t travel on the upcoming road trip, Wes Unseld Jr. says. WUJ says that Rui is still in “phase 1” of his return to play plan, and hasn’t started 5v5 contact. As I’ve mentioned before, Rui may not return until end of year/January.
Ohm Youngmisuk: Steve Nash says he would like to get Nic Claxton some minutes tonight and tomorrow night. Nash says his rotations “are pretty solid right now” but they would like to give Claxton “a chance to get back in the lineup” and work his way back.
Michael Singer: Asked Michael Malone about this “borderline ridiculous” road trip. MM: “Take borderline out.” Me: “Do you pack a couple extra pairs of underwear?” MM: “Who said I wear underwear?” Me: “Never assume anything.” MM: “You should never bc you make an ass out of you and you.”
The film was penned by Ivan Turkovic Krnjak (“Lovebox”) and is being produced by Ljubo Zdjelarević and Ivor Šiber at Zagreb-based Kinoteka. The film will shoot next year in Croatia, Germany, and in the U.S. across Portland and New Jersey. It will be released in 2023 on the 30th anniversary of Petrović’ death.
December 3, 2021 | 5:35 pm EST Update
Shams Charania: Free agent Wesley Matthews plans to sign a deal with the Bucks, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. The 12-year veteran, who spent last season with the Los Angeles Lakers, is set to return to Milwaukee.