The Lakers and Pistons met on Sunday night in a battle between two teams who were expected to be going in very different directions this season, which doesn’t typically result in hostility, but a scary scene broke out in Detroit after LeBron James elbowed Isaiah Stewart in the eye, causing him to bleed considerably, and Stewart then tried to fight the entire Lakers team.
The initial action took place battling for position on a free throw, where Stewart got a loose ball foul and James swung a his fist up high that caught Stewart in the eye. From there, Stewart tried to get after James and then on two separate occasions broke free of the Pistons coaches, teammates, and staffers who were trying to walk him to the locker room and sprinted back towards the Lakers.
The Lakers and Pistons had to be separated multiple times after this play between LeBron and Isaiah Stewart. pic.twitter.com/im0o7fXeoI
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) November 22, 2021
Stewart would finally be walked to the tunnel, where he sprinted away again, this time trying to circle the bowels of Little Caesars Arena to re-enter the floor from another tunnel to fight the Lakers. It was as mad as you’ll see any NBA player in this kind of situation, as you rarely see someone repeatedly making a break for it after they’re grabbed by teammates, but Stewart, fairly understandably, was incensed as blood poured down his face.
Isaiah Stewart running after LeBron pic.twitter.com/wb23SyWYle
— NBA Retweet (@RTNBA) November 22, 2021
It initially looked like an elbow, but some other replays showed it was more of a punch/swinging fist from James that caught Stewart in an ugly way.
Another look at what happened between LeBron and Isaiah Stewart pic.twitter.com/gc2gCrWME8
— The Action Network (@ActionNetworkHQ) November 22, 2021
It was a wild scene and, once Stewart was finally corralled, the referees assessed a Flagrant 2 to James for his elbow as he was ejected for the second time in his career and Stewart was given two technicals and ejected. At the time of the incident, the Pistons led 78-66 as the Lakers woes continued, and now we’ll await what further punishment comes for Stewart — who figures to be facing a healthy suspension for going after the Lakers numerous times — and if anything more is assessed to James for the elbow.