LeBron James was ejected for the first time in his 15-year career during the third quarter of the Cavaliers' game against the Heat on Tuesday night.
With the Cavs up 93-70 with roughly two minutes remaining in the third quarter, James drove to the basket while guarded by Miami's James Johnson. Johnson took a swipe at the ball and James missed a runner. After no foul was called, James ran in the direction of referee Kane Fitzgerald and punched the air in protest. After Fitzgerald gave him his first technical, James did not turn around and continued arguing, which led to the ejection.
Fitzgerald was asked by a pool of reporters about the ejection and clarified that he did not issue a second technical, but chose to eject LeBron off of one technical.
"It was a culmination of a couple different acts," Fitzgerald told reporters. "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."
James had a good chance to record a second triple-double in three games had he not been forced to exit early. He had 21 points, 12 rebounds and six assists when he was sent off the court.
Historically, James has largely avoided discipline from referees. He has fouled out just eight times in the regular season and averages just 1.9 fouls for his career.
James' spectacular play has helped the Cavs to an eight-game winning streak after a worrying 5-7 start. For the season, James is averaging 28.6 points, 8.5 assists and 8.1 rebounds and is shooting 58% from the field and 42% from three.
After he was sent to the locker room, it appears James wasted little time before checking social media on his phone. Before the game ended, he liked Odell Beckham's Instagram (which was a picture of James), which was posted during the second half of the Cavs-Heat game.