Tuesday night’s matchup between the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks won’t feature LeBron James. For the first time in James’ career, the future Hall of Fame inductee was suspended for a basketball game following a scuffle in Detroit in which he caught Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart, who started bleeding and lost his cool.
James tried to get Stewart’s number to apologize, but at the end of the day, both guys got suspended — Stewart’s reaction meant that he got one more game tacked onto his. Despite this, Stewart got some support on Inside the NBA from Shaquille O’Neal, who thought his reaction was the sort of thing he had to do in that situation.
"LeBron's been in the league 18, 17 years, he's never been that guy… But Stewart reacted like he was supposed to react."@SHAQ reacts to the LeBron-Isaiah Stewart altercation. pic.twitter.com/JVzoyD3Qb5
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) November 24, 2021
“LeBron’s been in the league, what 18, 17 years? Shaq said. “He’s never been that guy. When you’re going strength against strength, and you’re stronger, sometimes, you gotta put that extra uh in there. As he put the uh into him, a guy got hit in the face. Now, Stewart reacted like he was supposed to react. You hit somebody in the face…”
Kenny Smith came in and said he didn’t have to do that, but Shaq had his back, saying, “somebody hits you in the face, you either gotta hit ’em back, or act like you wanna hit ’em back, it’s the only two options.”