LeBron James, 36, made an obscene gesture on the playing court after making a deep three-point shot at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States on November 24, 2021. He was celebrating his team Los Angeles Lakers‘ 124-116 overtime win against the Indiana Pacers.
Because of this, the National Basketball Association punished James by fining him $15,000. NBA’s League Operations president Byron Spruell said the Los Angeles Lakers forward was also warned for using “profane language during media availability in response to league imposed discipline.”
On November 21, 2021, the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Detroit Pistons 121-116 at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan, USA. During a free throw attempt in the third quarter, James elbowed Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart, 20, in the face.
James tried to apologize but Stewart was outraged and had to be restrained by his teammates. After the altercation, both players were ejected.
On November 22, 2021, the NBA announced that James was suspended one game without pay for “recklessly hitting Stewart in the face and initiating an on-court altercation.” Stewart was also suspended two games without pay for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing” James.
On November 26, 2021, the Detroit Pistons lost to the Los Angeles Clippers 107-96 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California, USA. After the game, Stewart addressed the incident at Little Caesars Arena involving James.
“I didn’t feel like it was an accident but this is my last time addressing it,” Sports Illustrated quoted Stewart as saying. “My main focus right now is on my team and my teammates, getting back to playing basketball.”