Angered at the lack of a foul call on a drive to the basket on which he came up empty, LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers was ejected for the first time in his NBA career on Tuesday night, but it didn’t stop his team to achieve a 108-97 win against the Miami Heat.
In his 1,082nd career game “King James” was ejected with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter and the Cavs leading 93-70.
James allegedly threw an air-punch directed at referee Kane Fitzgerald while shouting, that made the official quickly whistle the superstar for a technical foul and then pointed to the exit.
“It was a culmination of a couple different acts… 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,” Fitzgerald said.
When James dribbled up court and missed a layup, Heat forward James Johnson fouled him, according to James.
James, who scored 21 points with 12 rebounds, six assists and five steals, said: “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… 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.”
Meanwhile, another “first time” happened on the same game.
It’s the first time Heat coach Erik Spoelstra went up against his former Miami super-tandem James and Wade at the same time. The trio of Spoelstra-James-Wade led to four straight NBA Finals (2011-2014), and NBA champions in 2012 and 2013.