LeBron James Ejected for First Time in NBA Career

The referee assessed James with a technical foul  and ejected him from the game.The referee assessed James with a technical foul  and ejected him from the game.

Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was ejected for the first time in his 15-year NBA career during Tuesday night’s 108-97 win over the Miami Heat.

James, playing in his 1,082nd career game, was tossed with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter and the Cavs leading 93-70.

After getting a steal, James dribbled upcourt and missed a layup then argued with referee Kane Fitzgerald that Heat forward James Johnson fouled him on the attempt. Fitzgerald assessed James with a technical foul and ejected him from the game, reported.

“I got fouled all the way up the court, from the time that I stripped him, all the way until I got to the rim,” James said of the sequence leading up to his ejection. “I said what I had to say and then I moved on, but he decided I should get [ejected]. It is what it is. We got the win, and that’s what’s most important.”

Fitzgerald explained the rationale behind his decision to a pool reporter after the game. “It was a culmination of a couple different acts,” Fitzgerald said. “Immediately after the no-call, he turned and threw an air punch directly at me, and then he aggressively charged at me, and then he used vulgarity in my ear a few times.”

Asked if anything happened between him and James before the third quarter that fed into the ejection, Fitzgerald said, “nothing at all, nothing that I’m aware of.”

Asked about arguing with an official when the Cavs were up by 23, James said, “I’m trying to win every possession. I don’t care if we’re up 23 or we’re down 23. I want to win every possession.”

Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue did not protest Fitzgerald’s decision to eject James. “Yup,” Lue said. “Should have got thrown out. Yup. ... I really don’t know what he said. He got kicked out. Want me to go against the ref? No, he got thrown out. He’s out.”

The only active players who have played more games than James without being ejected are the San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker (1,144) and Pau Gasol (1,139).


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