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LeBron and an elbow that could tarnish an entire career

Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James was ejected from the Sunday night game against the Detroit Pistons for an elbow which connected with the nose of Isaiah Stewart, and it is the dirtiest play of LeBron's illustrious career.

Despite the fact he doesn't have a reputation for taking cheap shots, and the fact that video evidence suggests it could have been entirely accidental as both players battled for a rebound, the NBA will likely punish James heavily.

The elbow neatly caused a brawl on the court, the like of which not seen since the 2004 clash between the Pistons and the Indiana Pacers, which is remembered as a dark day for the sport as fans got onto the court and clashed with players.

Stewart had to be physically restrained by multiple teammates, officials and coaches as he looked to gain retribution on James. He battled through two players before enough individuals got inbetween the pair, preventing a battle which would have tainted James' career.

El lío sangriento de Lebron: expulsado por un codazo a Isaiah StewartTwitter

James had only just returned from an eight-game absence through injury, but he will now miss a further stretch with the NBA likely to punish the former Miami Heat star.

Stewart will also be penalised as his actions fell below the NBA code, and the Pistons will miss him for a number of games, although it remains unclear who will get the bigger penalty, with James maintaining the elbow was accidental.

James has been sent off once before for an incident similar to this, but it will be his night in Detroit which sticks in the memory of fans.

All great athletes have their mistakes, but almost provoking one of the biggest fights in modern NBA history is something that James will now have to live with on his record.

The Lakers are also likely to panic at the absence of their key player, having seen how the team struggled when he went down with an injury.

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