The Detroit Pistons and Los Angeles Lakers played on Sunday with the Lakers erasing a 15-point deficit at the start of the fourth quarter for a 121-116 win. Not that the result matters because this will forever be known as the game where Isaiah Stewart tried to fight LeBron James. Repeatedly.
James and Stewart got tied up while fighting for position on a free throw. LeBron swung his arm and hit Stewart in the face. LeBron immediately held out his arm as if to say my bad, but Stewart wanted none of it and got right in LeBron's face. As security, coaches and teammates intervened, Stewart did everything he could to get to LeBron as blood continued to pour down his face.
It seemed like the more people tried to hold Stewart back the more angry he became. Stewart only briefly relented to try and trick people into letting him go so he could make another run at LeBron. Two people beside Stewart stand out in these clips - Cade Cunningham and Russell Westbrook.
Cunningham was the most active Pistons teammate trying to calm down Stewart, which seems like a very leader-ish thing to do. Not to mention brave because Stewart is a pretty big guy.
Then there was Westbrook who was happy to try to stand up for his teammate and got a technical foul for his troubles.
Here's a clue.
Perhaps that's why they deemed him an escalator.
Scott Foster also explained that Cory Jospeh went over to the Lakers' bench to intercept Stewart if he ran around in the hallways of the arena to get to LeBron. It's unclear what stopped Stewart backstage because he did run away once he got to the tunnel.
The Pistons visit the Lakers next Sunday. It is unclear if Stewart will even be available or if he'll be suspended. If you listen to the radio broadcasters in the clips above they both wonder if Stewart will be suspended for the rest of the season.
The 17th anniversary of the Malice at the Palace was two days ago.
UPDATE: Stewart's cut required five stitches.