The NBA has announced that Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James will be suspended for one game for fighting Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart on Sunday.
The four-time MVP got tangled up with Stewart on a free throw and struck the second-year big man in the face, causing severe bleeding. Stewart went after James but the two were separated, both being ejected from the game.
MORE: LeBron James ejected for bloodying Isaiah Stewart in Lakers-Pistons scuffle
According to Pro Sports Transactions, this marks the first time in his 19-year career that James has been suspended by the NBA.
He joins a fairly long list of 11 other NBA MVPs who have been suspended for fighting or playing a role in a fight. Below you can find each scenario along with the year, the number of games suspended and the reason for the suspension.
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How many NBA MVPs have been suspended for fighting?
All records are via Pro Sports Transactions.
|LeBron James||2021||1||Striking Isaiah Stewart|
|Nikola Jokic||2021||1||Pushing Markieff Morris|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||2020||1||Headbutting Mo Wagner|
|2015||1||Shoving Mike Dunleavy Jr.|
|James Harden||2015||1||Kicking LeBron James in groin|
|Kobe Bryant||2007||1||Striking Marko Jaric|
|2002||2||Fighting Reggie Miller|
|Dirk Nowitzki||2008||1||Hitting Matt Harpring|
|2008||1||Hitting Andrei Kirilenko|
|Steve Nash||2008||1||Escalating fight between Rockets-Suns|
|Kevin Garnett||2015||1||Headbutting Dwight Howard|
|2008||1||Striking Andrew Bogut|
|2007||1||Punching Antonio McDyess|
|Shaquille O’Neal||2002||3||Punching Brad Miller|
|1999||1||Fighting Charles Barkley|
|1997||1||Hitting Greg Ostertag|
|1995||1||Hitting Eric Montross|
|Karl Malone||1999||1||Punching Anthony Johnson|
|Hakeem Olajuwon||1998||1||Fighting Antonio McDyess|
|Charles Barkley||1999||1||Fighting Shaquille O’Neal|
|1996||1||Fighting Charles Oakley|
|1990||1||Fighting Bill Lambeer|
O’Neal has been suspended more times than any other NBA MVP for fighting, tallying four different suspensions and a total of six games missed due to altercations.
Barkley and Garnett have each been suspended three times apiece, while players like Malone and Bryant could have a higher total if you included instances where they were ejected and suspended for elbowing.
Nash remains the only NBA MVP who has been suspended for escalating a fight, although Stephen Curry received a fine for the same reason back in 2013.
James joins reigning MVP Nikola Jokic as the second award-winner to receive a suspension for fighting this season.