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LeBron James reacts to Isaiah Stewart’s latest comments on controversial brawl

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The Los Angeles Lakers face the Detroit Pistons on Sunday at Staples Center — which, of course, means a rematch between LeBron James and Isaiah Stewart, who were both suspended for their scuffle one week earlier.

James received a one-game suspension — his first since St. Vincent St. Mary’s — for his flagrant-2 foul. The NBA determined it was “recklessly hitting Stewart in the face and initiating an on-court altercation.”

LeBron seemed to inadvertently elbow the Pistons’ 20-year old big on a free throw box out, causing a bloody eye. Stewart reacted with outsized aggression.

From the moment it happened, James has maintained that he had no malintent and was simply trying to fend off Stewart’s armbar.

James instantly apologized and sought out Stewart, to no avail. On Wednesday, in his first public remarks since the incident, James gave a curt “no” when asked if he had been in communication with Stewart.

“What happened is: it was a box out on the free-throw line, his elbow got me off balance a little bit,” LeBron explained after the Lakers’ win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday. “I tried to swim move down on his arm, the left side of my hand grazed his face. I knew right away…I went over to apologize to him, and you guys see what happened after that. Definitely accidental…definitely not that type of player. I hated to see that, what escalated after that.”

LeBron said his ejection was warranted, but not the suspension. LeBron was then given a warning by the NBA for calling the suspension “bullsh*t” in remarks to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin.

“Everyone in the league knows LeBron’s not a dirty guy,” Anthony Davis said. “A soon as he did it, he looked back at him like, ‘Oh, my bad. I didn’t try to do it.’”

Stewart did not seem to accept James’ apology:

Following the Lakers’ 3-OT loss to the Sacramento Kings on Friday, James was asked about facing Stewart so soon. The four-time MVP said he’ll be focused on getting the Lakers (10-11) a much-needed W.

“I don’t go into a game and make it an individual thing,” LeBron said. “I saw his comments today and he felt it was intentional…I’ll go on the record again and say it was. The actual chop down was on purpose to get his arm off me, but my hand hitting his face was not on purpose….it wasn’t intentional at all, I’ve never been that player, at all. I don’t go into that game with any expectations besides us trying to go out victorious.”

The drama continues…