Lebron James fined $15k in addition to suspension
A move James made has been sanctioned by the NBA and deemed inappropriate
This is the season of sanctions for Los Angeles Lakers superstar, Lebron James.
The 4-ring NBA champion got hit with a $15,000 fine for obscene gestures during the Los Angeles Lakers 124-116 win against the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday.
James performed the Sam Cassell “big balls dance,” after hitting a three-point shot during the fourth quarter on Wednesday.
The dance, which was popularized in 2004 by former NBA point guard Sam Cassell, has been flagged by the league and called inappropriate. Earlier this year, Toronto Raptors star Fred VanVleet was also fined for doing the gesture.
Lebron was coming off a single-game suspension after he reportedly accidentally elbowed Detroit Piston center Isaiah Stewart in the face, drawing blood from right above his eye.
During the second half of the Piston vs Lakers game, James and Stewart’s arms entangled as they were securing a position to rebound during a free throw. As James swung his elbow back, he made contact with Stewart’s face.
Although James tried to diffuse the situation, Stewart became visibly upset while several team members, referees, coaches and security personnel rushed to break up the two.
Stewart made several attempts to run back towards James in an aggressive manner but was blocked.
”His eye got cracked all the way open. He was upset for a reason,” said Pistons coach Dwane Casey, adding that Stewart needed eight stitches to close the wound.
After Stewart left the floor, Pistons guard Cory Joseph went after him to make sure he would not try to come back through another entry tunnel.
“After Isaiah Stewart left the court, Cory was anticipating he may come around the back of (the) house and enter the Laker bench from the opposite side,” said the game’s crew referee Scott Foster to a pool reporter after the game. ”So, he was going to intercept him. I actually told Cory that would be good.”
Both players were ejected: Stewart was assessed with two technical fouls and James was assessed with a flagrant foul penalty 2.
The NBA announced that James’ suspension was ”for recklessly hitting Stewart in the face and initiating an on-court altercation.”
Stewart was also suspended for two games for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing … James in an unsportsmanlike manner.”
Both will be eligible to play when the two teams face each other again on Sunday in Los Angeles.
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