Stephen A. Smith: LeBron James started it, but Isaiah Stewart 'completely out of control'

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The Isaiah Stewart meltdown after getting struck in the face by LeBron James was all over sports talk shows Monday morning.

The Detroit Pistons blew a 17-point second-half lead in a 121-116 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, but reaction and debate about the enraged Stewart running all over the Little Caesars Arena floor was front and center, as it should be.

Both Stewart and James were ejected from the game, and could face suspensions from the NBA, though Pistons coach Dwane Casey said postgame he didn't think Stewart should get penalized.

Media personalities strongly disagree.

"He's gotta be suspended," Stephen A. Smith said on ESPN's First Take on Monday. "I totally agree with Anthony Davis from the standpoint, he does not have a reputation as a dirty player, that's not who LeBron James is. But that doesn't mean that the play wasn't dirty. You swung your elbow. And because you swung your elbow and it caused that kind of damage, that's what sparked the incident.

"I don't know much about Isaiah Stewart, respect his talent, he's built like a middle linebacker. How he acted thereafter, I think he deserves to suspended for multiple games. You cannot act like that. He ran over numerous players, numerous coaches. I'm not talking about having to restrain him. He bulldozed over several dudes, including several coaches who are older men. He could have done harm to his teammates. We know he didn't intend to do that."

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Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart runs after Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James after being hit in the face by James. Both players were ejected from the game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 at Little Caesars Arena.
Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart runs after Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James after being hit in the face by James. Both players were ejected from the game Sunday, Nov. 21, 2021 at Little Caesars Arena.

Smith was concerned for the safety of Pistons' coaching staff, saying Stewart was more in the wrong than James.

"(LeBron) knew he was wrong cause he swung his elbow. All of that extra stuff Isaiah Stewart did was completely uncalled for. He was out of control and you can't have that. He was bulldozing over his own coaches. You don't know how hurt you could have made one of them trying to restrain you. That was completely uncalled for and you can't have that."

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This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: LeBron James started it, Isaiah Stewart 'completely out of control'