LeBron James was ejected from a game for the first time in his 15-year career on Tuesday when referee Kane Fitzgerald slapped him with a technical foul for arguing a non-call in the third quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ showdown with the Miami Heat.
“It was a culmination of a couple different acts,” Fitzgerald told ESPN.com’s Dave McMenamin, according to the league office. “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.”
Prior to the early exit, James racked up 21 points (10-of-16 shooting), 12 rebounds, six assists and five steals in 28 minutes.
According to Basketball Reference, no player had posted 21 points, 12 boards, six dimes and five steals in a game this season—much less in 28 minutes—prior to James’ performance Tuesday.
LeBron proceeded to stay busy in the locker room as the fourth quarter unfolded:
Assuming he isn’t disciplined further by the league office, James will return to the floor Thursday night when the Cavaliers travel to Philips Arena for a clash with the Atlanta Hawks.