'This is insane': NBA world in shock over LeBron James incident

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LeBron James, pictured here cutting Isaiah Stewart with a stray elbow.
LeBron James cut Isaiah Stewart with a stray elbow. Image: TNT

LeBron James was ejected from the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Detriot Pistons on Sunday after an elbow to the face of Isaiah Stewart sparked a wild melee.

LeBron and Stewart were tussling during a free throw attempt from Jerami Grant early in the second half when LeBron spun and struck Stewart in the face.

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Stewart immediately made a beeline for LeBron, sparking wild scenes as players from both sides streamed into the melee.

Stewart was seen with blood streaming from a cut above his eye and also had blood around his mouth.

The Pistons player had to be restrained by multiple players and staff as he continually tried to get to LeBron.

LeBron was eventually ejected from the game, just his second career ejection in the NBA.

Not satisfied, Stewart attempted to follow LeBron into the locker room after he was also ejected.

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Lakers guard Russell Westbrook was assessed a technical foul after the officials reviewed the play and the fallout from it.

LeBron was escorted off the floor and fans refrained from throwing anything at him as he walked toward the locker room.

A cup was tossed from the stands in suburban Detroit on an infamous night on November 19, 2004, triggering perhaps the worst brawl in US sports history when a melee with the Pistons and Indiana Pacers spilled into the stands.

The shocking scenes became known as the 'Malice at the Palace' and changed security protocols at NBA games.

Isaiah Stewart, pictured here in a bloody rage as he tried to get to LeBron James.
Isaiah Stewart was sent into a bloody rage as he tried to get to LeBron James. Image: TNT

Lakers forward Anthony Davis said it was an unintentional act on the part of James.

"Stewart tried to get physical with LeBron and LeBron did the same thing," Davis said. 

"Everybody in the league knows LeBron's not a dirty guy. As soon as he did it, he looked back at him and said, 'Oh, my bad, I didn't try to do it.'

"I don't (know) what (Stewart) was trying to do. ... I've never seen a player try to do that since I've been playing.

"I know we've seen it before (back) in the day. That was uncalled for. You got a cut above your eye, accidentally, it wasn't on purpose. We weren't going to allow him to keep charging our brother like that."

Pistons coach Dwane Casey said Stewart received eight to nine stitches to repair the gash. He also said he shouldn't be disciplined by the league.

"He was upset," Casey said. "He shouldn't be facing anything. 

"Not getting off the court in time (is a small thing). I don't see any ramifications from the league on that."

Fans and commentators erupted over the crazy scenes on social media.

Earlier this season, Stewart faced off with former teammate Blake Griffin of the Brooklyn Nets after they were tangled up during a game.

The Lakers went on to rally after LeBron's ejection, winning 121-116.

Davis had 30 points, 10 rebounds and two big blocked shots on Pistons 20-year-old rookie Cade Cunningham late in the game. 

Westbrook contributed 26 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.

Cunningham, the No.1 overall pick in the draft, had 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to become the youngest player in franchise history with a triple-double.

Before being ejected, James had 10 points and five assists in his second game back in the lineup after missing eight games with an abdominal strain.

The Pistons led 78-66 when the fracas erupted.

with agencies

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