LeBron James ejected for the first time in NBA career

By @saihoops on
LeBron James ejected, LeBron James
Nov 28, 2017; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (23) reacts with Dwyane Wade (9) after he was ejected by referee Kane Fitzgerald (5) in the third quarter against the Miami Heat at Quicken Loans Arena. USA TODAY Sports / David Richard

LeBron James, widely regarded as the best player of his generation, was ejected from the floor during the Cleveland Cavaliers' 108-97 victory over the Miami Heat at the Quicken Loans Arena on Tuesday (Wednesday in Australia). James suffered the first ejection of his illustrious career that spans over 15 seasons and 1,300 games, including the playoffs. 

James, playing in regular season game No. 1,082, was ejected by referee Kane Fitzgerald. The ejection happened soon after James complained relentlessly over a no-call on contact from Heat forward James Johnson on a move near the rim.

After the game, Fitzerald explained his decision to throw out the four-time MVP. “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,” said Fitzgerald while calling the ejection “culmination of a couple different acts.”

While addressing reporters in the locker room, James said he had moved on from the ejection simply because his team won the game. “I said what I had to say (to referee Kane Fitzgerald) and moved on but he decided I should get (ejected). It is what it is. We got the win, which is most important.”

LeBron James frustrated at lack of free throws

James, who attempts 8.2 free throws per game in his career, earned just three shots at the foul line during Tuesday's contest. After the game, James expressed his frustration at not getting calls. 

“That’s been the usual, you know that. I think I’m one of the league leaders in points in the paint. I drive just as much as anybody. It’s almost like they’re trying to turn me into a jump shooter. I can’t be a jump shooter. I’m not a jump shooter. I watch games every single night and I see jump shooters going to the line double digit times every single night ... I get fouled just like everybody else do.”

Meanwhile, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue joked that referee Fitzgerald was right to throw James out (see tweet below). “Yep (yes), he should have got thrown out.”

LeBron James finished with a tally of 21 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and five steals, a stat line he achieved for the sixth time in his career, per ESPN Stats & Info. The Cleveland Cavaliers, on a nine-game winning streak, will now travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks on Thursday before returning home to host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday. The Cavs (14-7) are currently seeded third in the Eastern Conference.