The Los Angeles Lakers are set to square off against the Detroit Pistons on Sunday.
Normally, a battle between a 10-11 team and a 4-15 team isn’t a notable occasion – but this one is.
Last week, the Lakers and Pistons squared off in an otherwise uninspiring showdown with one main highlight — LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart getting involved in a massive melee over this exchange:
LeBron James was ejected with a flagrant 2 foul on Isaiah Stewart.
(🎥 via @SportsCenter) pic.twitter.com/PJRiGCmAQw
— The Sporting News (@sportingnews) November 22, 2021
Suspensions followed, as did players like Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma and Brooklyn Nets big man Blake Griffin weighing in on who was at fault.
This past week, James maintained that hits shot at Stewart, which set everything off, was unintentional.
“This is going to be my last time addressing it,” he 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.”
On Friday night, after the Lakers’ three overtime loss to the Sacramento Kings, James once again reiterated that what transpired was an accident.
“I don’t go into a game and make it an individual thing,” he said. “I saw his comments today and he felt it was intentional…I’ll go on the record again and say it was. The actual chop down was on purpose to get his arm off me, but my hand hitting his face was not on purpose….it wasn’t intentional at all, I’ve never been that player, at all. I don’t go into that game with any expectations besides us trying to go out victorious.”
That’s one way to celebrate divorcing Johnny Manziel. https://t.co/jQ28nDRqn1
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 24, 2021
For a lot of different reasons, Sunday’s showdown between the Lakers and Pistons will be a fascinating one. Will any more craziness ultimately pop off? Time will tell.
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