Isaiah Stewart returned to the Detroit Pistons for their game against the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday after serving a two-game suspension for his actions during an altercation with LeBron James.
During the game between the Pistons and Lakers on Sunday, James hit Stewart in the face with his fist as both wrestled for position. Following the hit, he immediately tried to go after James despite being held back by teammates, staffers and referees.
Eventually he was restrained and walked back to the locker room, to which he was seen running back there in an attempt to get to the other side. James was assessed a Flagrant-2 foul and both players were ejected.
James was then suspended for one game by the NBA, and Stewart was served with a two-game suspension.
James has maintained that the hit was accidental, but Stewart sees it another way.
“This is going to be my last time addressing it,” Stewart said. “I watched the film. Me personally, like I said, I didn’t feel like it was an accident. But this is my last time addressing it. My main focus right now is on my teammates and getting back to playing basketball. I’m not going to let that define who I am. I’m going to let what Detroit drafted me for define who I am.”
What LeBron had to say:
“There was a boxout on the free throw line. His elbow got kind of high, it got me — if you look, if you watch the film — it got me off balanced a little bit, and his elbow lifted my arm, and I basically tried to swim move, swim down on him, on his arm. And when I swung down on his arm, he got off balance and the left side of my hand grazed his face. And I knew right away. So, I knew right away I had caught some part of his head. So, I went over to apologize to him, and obviously, you guys saw what happened after that. But definitely accidental.”
Now that both suspensions have been served, both will be available to play against each other on Sunday.