After LeBron James was ejected from the Lakers-Pistons game for elbowing Isaiah Stewart, a Reddit thread went viral for cataloguing LeBron’s dirtiest plays.
LeBron James had only been back on the court for a few days before he reclaimed Lakers headlines.
This time, it wasn’t for empowering the faltering Los Angeles team after an extended injury-induced absence. It was for embroiling them in a bloody foul that got James ejected from the game and Russell Westbrook a technical foul for… this.
During an attempted rebound on a Pistons free throw attempt, James jerked his elbow backward and caught Stewart’s temple, causing the Pistons big man to bleed profusely. Stewart was seething as blood poured down his face, breaking free to charge at James several times before exiting the arena. The move cost the Pistons the game, as their 12-point lead became a five-point deficit at the buzzer.
LeBron’s ejection was only the second one in his career, an impressive feat for someone who has rubbed elbows in the league for the past 18 years. As a result, he was also suspended for one game with Stewart receiving a two-game suspension.
But there’s a case to be made that LeBron should have been thrown out more than twice in two decades. According to a viral Reddit post, there are at least 11 times LeBron James’ actions merited an ejection for flagrant fouling while avoiding the call.
LeBron James called out for dirty plays throughout career on Reddit
As one of the league’s biggest players, James can be a contested figure among those who adore him and those who despise him.
While the original Reddit poster is admittedly not a LeBron fan, the videos don’t lie: Each features an example of a missed foul call that could have easily erupted into what took place with Monday night.
“A lot of these are on guys who had a bad history with injuries,” wrote the original Reddit poster, u/riderforlyfe. “LeBron really needs to stop these antics or he’s going to seriously injure someone eventually.”
The problem with the Stewart injury is that LeBron’s movement was clearly intentional, even if he didn’t mean to give Stewart a bloody gash. When James has hit players in the past without incurring such obvious injuries, it’s been much easier to avoid detection or write off fouls as physical play.
James has now been suspended, and past questionable plays are now coming under scrutiny by NBA fans as the tape shows LeBron getting away with fouling. LeBron flop compilations are hilarious, but the serious nature of injuring fellow players is something that should be put on blast to discourage in the future.