Sunday night’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Detroit Pistons had some unexpected drama when LeBron James caught Isaiah Stewart with a stray hand during a box out that led to the second-year big man getting cut open above the eye. Stewart, furious about what happened, kept trying to get into it with James and other members of the Lakers, including Russell Westbrook.
Eventually, James and Stewart were tossed from the game, while Westbrook got a technical foul for reasons he still does not understand. It caused quite the stir, but it’s still not exactly clear if James intentionally swiped at Stewart or not. He’s not the kind of guy who has a history for doing this, but Stewart very obviously thought something happened here that was dirty.
One day later and Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that James wanted to clear the air after the game. While appearing on Pat McAfee’s radio show, Charania said that James tried to get Stewart’s number after the game so they could talk through things and he could apologize.
It was ABSOLUTE CHAOS in Detroit last night Shams.
“I’m told LeBron James did try to track down Isaiah Stewart’s number post game to apologize again & let em know it was an inadvertent hit” ~@ShamsCharania#PMSOverreactionMonday #PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/NLUk1A4C6Q
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) November 22, 2021
“You could tell, right after the play happened, it looked inadvertent,” Charania said. “And I’m told LeBron James had made clear, whether it was on the court or postgame, that was an inadvertent hit to Isaiah Stewart, that he didn’t mean to do that, it was not intentional. But as soon as it happened, you could see him kind of say, ‘Listen, I’m sorry, man.’
“I’m told LeBron James did try to track down Isaiah Stewart’s number postgame to apologize to Stewart again and let him know it was an inadvertent hit to his face,” Charania later said.
There’s no word on whether or not James was able to get in touch with Stewart. As of his writing, the NBA has yet to hand down any fines or suspensions for the incident.