It was Pistons rookie guard Cade Cunningham who stepped between forward/center Isaiah Stewart on multiple occasions as Stewart went after Lakers star LeBron James for elbowing him in the face during the game Sunday.
Cunningham, the No. 1 overall pick, said he was only trying to calm what turned into a wild situation, as a bloodied Stewart shoved Pistons staffers to the floor to try to get to James. Both players were ejected from the Lakers’ 121-116 comeback win.
“I’m trying to stop him from maybe getting into trouble … “I don’t know,” Cunningham said of his decision to step in front of Stewart, via Rod Beard of the Detroit News.
LeBron and Isaiah Stewart get into it ?
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 22, 2021
James and Stewart got tangled in the lane on a free throw, resulting in James hitting Stewart in the face with his elbow, presumably by accident.
“Everyone in the league know LeBron’s not a dirty guy,” Lakers forward Anthony Davis said. “In fact when he knew he hit him, as soon as he did it, he looked back at him like, ‘Oh, my bad. I didn’t try to do it.’ He tried to, I don’t know what he was trying to do. But I know nobody on our team, 1 through 15, was having it. We’re gonna protect our brother.”
Cunningham recorded his first triple-double in the game, finishing with 13 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
“I’m happy to see that I was able to accomplish something like that, that’s big time. But, I think winning the game is even greater than that, so I am still going to go home kind of sour that we lost. But, just try to get better, talk to the team, get our minds together and move forward.”
The Pistons (4-12) have lost three of four.