Greatest LeBron James Fights in the NBA History

Published 11/24/2021, 3:00 PM EST
DENVER, CO – FEBRUARY 12: LeBron James (23) of the Los Angeles Lakers licks his chops as the Lakers cruise to the finish line against the Denver Nuggets during overtime quarter of Los Angeles’ 120-116 win on Wednesday, February 12, 2020. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


NBA legend LeBron James isn’t one to get into too many altercations. Yet, emotions can get the better of all of us. On a few occasions, the king has lost at his cool on the court, leading to heated arguments. Whether it was against his own teammates or the opponents, there have been some ugly scuffles for the Lakers star over the years. The most recent of these, was a heated duel against Detroit Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart.

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In his long career, LeBron has become one of the most respected athletes in the sport. Many players have considered it an absolute privilege to play with or against him. However, it all hasn’t always been hunky dory. Sometimes, even the best can succumb to pressure, leading to some vile exchanges. Today, we take a look at some of the 36-year-old’s most heated arguments over his years in the NBA.

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Nov 21, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (6) calls out a play while dribbling the ball up the court during the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Looking back at LeBron James’ heated exchanges in the NBA

Even till today, the 2016 NBA Finals remains one of the best in the recent past. With two impeccable sides in the form of the Cavaliers and Warriors, there was nothing to separate them. In Game-4 of the final, LeBron had a misunderstanding with GSW’s star center-forward Draymond Green. This resulted in Green being suspended for Game-5, which the Warriors lost. In the end, they lost the series as well, as James and co. overcame a 1-3 deficit to claim the crown.

In 2018, the Cleveland Cavaliers took on the Toronto Raptors for the third consecutive time in the playoffs. Cruising to a 2-0 lead in the series, the Cavs looked well and truly on their way to supremacy. However, Kyle Lowry and the Raptors mounted a comeback in Game-3, where the 17-time All-star was involved in an ugly face-off. After being called for a foul, James was pulled by his arm and dragged to the floor by Lowry, and the duo had to be separated.

Free throws often lead to some controversies. In the Lakers’ regular season encounter vs the Pistons, LeBron accidentally elbowed young center Isaiah Stewart in the face. As the blood piled on, the powerhouse lost his cool, trying to charge at Bron, as officials tried to calm things down. In the end, both of them received suspensions.

Nov 21, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) has blood around his right eye after an altercation with Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (not pictured) during the third quarter at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

So far, we have seen LeBron’s scuffs with opponents. But in 2013, he was involved in a brutal stand-off with his own Miami Heat teammate. In the middle of the game, the 4-time NBA champion had an argument with Mario Chalmers, and he stood face-to-face in anger. During the last timeout, the pairing almost got violent with one another, before things cooled down.

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In this memorable encounter, James was the initial antagonist. During a 2017 interview, the veteran uncharacteristically criticized the Knicks management for signing Frank Ntilikina. When the Cavaliers came up against New York, Ntilikina pushed LeBron after a dunk, which stirred some fire in the pot. As James retaliated, giant Kanter entered, and squared off against the forward. It was an enormous incident that could’ve easily blown out of proportion.

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Sankalp Harikrishnan

444 articles

Sankalp Harikrishnan is an NBA and Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He aspires to pursue Sports Journalism and has represented his institution in cricket, badminton, football and table tennis. Sankalp idolises Roger Federer and Stephen Curry, and has an inherent love for statistics.

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