There has been much debate over whether LeBron James is a dirty player after his bloody hit on Isaiah Stewart. Redditor u/riderforlyfe compiled the evidence and presented his case to show the hit on Stewart wasn’t a one-off. With all the evidence under consideration, we’ve ranked the top five dirtiest plays by LeBron James.
LeBron slide tackles Stephen Curry
Whilst not exactly a dirty play, LeBron’s rash decision to slide tackle Steph Curry feet-first raised eyebrows from many. A similar tackle in a soccer match would have resulted in a red card but the referees appeared to look the other way, chalking up the play to ‘hustle’.
Attempted Stomp on Giannis Antetokounmpo
Giannis gets tangled up with LeBron as they battle for the rebound. Giannis then lands on the floor where LeBron blatantly attempts to stomp on his ankle. Thankfully Giannis is able to move his legs in time.
5. The bodycheck on DeAndre Ayton
The foul by Marc Gasol makes for an easy distraction from the hit on Ayton. The unwarranted hit by LeBron is so loud that you can hear it on the broadcast.
4. LeBron lashes at Isaiah Stewart
With the Lakers down 78-66 to one of the worst teams in the league, LeBron took his anger out on Isaiah Stewart. The strike bloodied Stewart’s face and incensed the Pistons’ forward. Stewart later required five stitches to his face and LeBron was served with a one-game suspension.
3. LeBron James versus the entire Warriors squad
This 20-second compilation from Game 4 of the 2016 NBA finals shows LeBron at his worst. He attempts to trip Stephen Curry twice, elbows Shaun Livingston twice, shoves Andre Iguodala in the back and gets aggressive with Draymond Green. Keep in mind the Cavaliers were down 2-1 in the Finals so the frustration had well and truly settled in.
2. LeBron shoves Shaun Livingston
Shaun Livingston who has a history of knee injuries was lucky to escape this play unscathed. Instead of contesting the lay-up, a clearly fed-up LeBron James dangerously shoves Livingston from behind.
1. Joel Embiid gets knocked mid-air
LeBron James once again pulls out his signature mid-air shove against a player with a history of injuries. This time he does it against Joel Embiid to avoid an embarrassing poster dunk. Given that Embiid has missed a large proportion of his career to back injuries, this move was downright dangerous.