Should Isaiah Stewart be Suspended for his Melee vs. Lakers?
The Detroit Pistons have taken all kinds of lumps during the first few weeks of the season. Their fiery second-year center wasn’t about to back down from the one he got on Sunday, even if it came from the world’s most famous athlete. LeBron James whacked Isaiah Stewart in the face, resulting in a bloody mess that required eight stitches.
Stewart reacted with rage and needed to be restrained multiple times during a third-quarter fracas between the Los Angeles Lakers and Pistons.
Stewart and James started jawing at each other in the second quarter. James earned himself a technical foul for arguing with the officials after another foul was called on Stewart.
The young big man, who stands 6’8″ and weighs 273 pounds, got tangled up with James and put his hand around his neck. The six-time NBA MVP knocked Stewart to the ground, causing him to bleed. He then shoved him away.
“A kid named Isaiah Stewart, a power forward, had a run-in with LeBron James,” Pistons head coach Dwane Casey said after the game. “He went over there and went after him. LeBron was a little bit, ‘Hey, hey, hey, hey.’ Isaiah was upset about it. There was a lot of talking that went on. They were like high school kids.
What should Isaiah Stewart be suspended for?
Stewart has a history of beefing with Lakers players and seemingly feuding with James. He also was suspended by Syracuse University after sucker-punching an assistant coach in a brawl with former Villanova teammate Mamadou Diarra.
After he spat with James, per SI.com’s Jeremy Woo, he told reporters: “If they want to suspend me for that, I can’t control that. But I’m not going to let him take [shots] at me.”
Isaiah Stewart: “If you want to suspend me for that, I can’t control that. But I’m not going to let him take [shots] at me.
Based on the way he said it, it’s clear Stewart isn’t backing down and hasn’t accepted James’ attempt at retaliation.
Should Isaiah Stewart be suspended at all?
Jon Rothstein of FanRag Sports raised the issue and spoke with LeBron about his role in it all
It’s hard to fault LeBron’s decision to hit Stewart in the face. What would it look like if James came over to intervene and Stewart threatened him? There’s no other place for LeBron to go but to get into the middle of it.
Is it worth the risk of further punishment? That’s for Stewart to decide, however, the Detroit Pistons should have no problem fining Stewart and showing no tolerance for his actions.
Stewart, like so many young players, can be headstrong. It’s part of the territory. He simply can’t control his emotions the same way LeBron could during his career. Stewart isn’t in this situation by accident.
Detroit head coach Dwane Casey is also battling the sophomore’s aggressiveness. Casey routinely finds himself coaching against Stewie.
As such, the Pistons may decide to keep their stars, such as Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond, in the locker room when Stewart plays the Purple and Gold.
Chances are he will, in a sense, carry a heavy burden, especially when he takes on James, who’s still in MVP-caliber form. In fact, James will lead a team that currently ranks No. 1 in pace (109.8 possessions per game), according to NBA.com
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