The fight between Isaiah Stewart and LeBron James was all over the news last week. However, it seems as though to the players and coaches involved, the altercation was nothing but a hiccup in their plans.
For the Lakers, coach Frank Vogel said he didn’t anticipate any sort of “retaliation” today against the Pistons after the scuffle between LeBron and Isaiah Stewart last week. For Vogel, the goal seems to be to return to the normal course this season is supposed to take. The Lakers sit at 11-11 and the 8th seed, meaning that at this current rate they would likely have to go through the play-in tournament, to make the playoffs. This was something the Lakers had to go through last season and would like to avoid going through a second time.
According to Harrison Faigen, “LeBron James says he saw Isaiah Stewart’s comments today saying he doesn’t think LeBron hit him on accident. LeBron maintains that the hit to his face was accidental, he was just trying to push Stewart off of him.”
In the words of Anthony Davis, “Everyone in the league knows LeBron is not a dirty guy.” Once had clocked Stewart, Davis said that LeBron was trying to apologize and say “my bad.” Regardless of intention, James was suspended, costing him upwards of $250,000 in salary.
When it comes to the Pistons, the altercation was not the most frustrating matter to coach Dwayne Cassey that night. According to Omari Sankofa II, Casey said he was upset that the Pistons lost a 15-point lead. He is not concerned about them playing each other again tonight. Casey told the media: “I thought we lost momentum in all of that. It’s in the rear view mirror, guys are professionals.”
In regards toStewart, his major statement goes as follows: “This is going to be my last time addressing it. I watched the film. I didn’t feel like it was an accident. My focus is on my team and playing basketball. I won’t let that define who I am. What Detroit drafted me for is what will define who I am.” HoweverStewart suffered a two-game suspension, which cost him nearly $50,000, only 15% of the penalty James undertook for half of the games suspended.
And as was expected, Stweart and James both partook in last night’s game, and it seems that the issue was solved. Both players started, as the Lakers won by four points, in a game that was close for the most part. James led both teams with 33 points. The two teams will likely not play each other until next season unless both teams can make it to the finals. It is safe to say that if there ever is a second altercation between the two, it will not be until 2022.