After a confrontation, Lakers’s LeBron James reportedly tried to get the Pistons’s Isaiah Stewart’s phone number

After a confrontation, Lakers’s LeBron James reportedly tried to get the Pistons’s Isaiah Stewart’s phone number

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  • By submitting my email I agree to receive the “CBS Sports HQ Newsletter” and other marketing and promotional emails from CBS Sports, which may include information from our affiliates and/or partners’ offers, products and services. For more information about our data practices consult our Privacy Policy. It’s worth noting that the Lakers and Pistons will face off on Nov. 21. Obviously, both players will have served their suspensions by then, so it’ll be interesting to see if there are any more fireworks stemming from Sunday’s situation.

  • “I’m told LeBron James did try to track down Isaiah Stewart’s number postgame to apologize to Stewart again and let him know that it was an inadvertent hit to his face, and so the league is going to have to review it,” Charania said. “This is not something that’s common with him. This would be a first-time offense for him, so I think you would have to factor that in for any type of league discipline.” James will miss Tuesday’s game against the New York Knicks as a result of the suspension. Meanwhile, Stewart will miss contests against the Miami Heat on Tuesday and the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.

The NBA announced on Monday that LeBron James will be suspended one game without pay — which amounts to a $284K forfeiture — for “recklessly hitting [Isaiah] Stewart in the face, and initiating an on-court altercation.” It was also announced that Stewart, who was left badly bloodied after his face took the business end of James’ closed fist, has been suspended two games without pay for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing [LeBron James] in an unsportsmanlike manner.”

You can clearly see LeBron looking back at Stewart as he throws his fist. He knew what he was doing. Smith took a longer swipe, but it’s the same thing. Watch the clips again. Smith was peeved about Crowder’s initial contact as they tussled for rebounding position, just as LeBron was visibly irritated with Stewart’s contact, for which Stewart was assessed a loose-ball foul.

Though understandable after the shot he took, Stewart lost his mind. This was not a typical “hold me back” NBA fight. Stewart was after LeBron like a madman. The scene was ugly and easily could’ve gotten much uglier. Stewart deserves the two-game suspension he got. You just can’t do this on an NBA court: LeBron, on the other hand, appears to have gotten off lightly with his one-game suspension as there is precedent for a harsher penalty in this case. Back in 2015, J.R. Smith was suspended two playoff games for a nearly identical hit on Jae Crowder, which you can see below.

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But Smith got two games. Two playoff games, in fact, while LeBron will miss just one regular-season game and save the Lakers over $500K in luxury tax money in the process. I’m not yelling conspiracy here. I’m just presenting the evidence. Two playoff games and one regular-season game are not even in the same ballpark of punishments, but Smith’s act and LeBron’s act are in similar ballparks. Truth be told, they’re about as close to mirror actions as two separate incidents could look, but they were ruled on very differently.

 

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