Pistons' Isaiah Stewart arrested for assault after hitting Suns player

Phoenix Suns' Drew Eubanks sustained a minor injury but was able to play after Pistons' Isaiah Stewart punched him before the teams played Wednesday.
Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart drives on Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma.
Posted at 5:47 PM, Feb 15, 2024

Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart was arrested for assault after punching Phoenix Suns center Drew Eubanks hours before the two teams played each other Wednesday.

The incident began as an argument between the two NBA players as they arrived at Footprint Arena for the Suns' home game. Witnesses who were in the parking tunnel where the fight took place told Phoenix police the situation escalated when the two were chest-to-chest, and then Stewart punched Eubanks before security separated them.

Phoenix police said detectives began investigating after being called to the scene at around 4:45 p.m. After police spoke to the players and witnesses, Stewart was arrested for assault, issued a citation and released, the department said. Its investigation is ongoing.

Eubanks, 27, sustained a minor injury but was able to play in the game, scoring 6 points off the bench in the 116-100 win for his team. Stewart, 22, had been already ruled out of the game due to an ankle injury.

Both teams released statements regarding the altercation, with the Suns saying: "The attack on Drew Eubanks was unprovoked, and acts of violence such as this are unacceptable. We unequivocally support Drew, and will continue to work with local law enforcement and the NBA."

The Pistons said they were "aware" of the incident between the two players and were "in the process of gathering information about what happened and what provoked it, and responding to the NBA and local authorities."

Pistons head coach Monty Williams — who became the second-highest-paid NBA coach when he was dismissed from the Suns and joined Detroit last year — told reporters after the game that the Suns should have waited to comment until the investigation was complete.

"The thing is to get all of the information. The NBA will do an investigation," Williams said, per The Associated Press. "I know the Suns said it was unprovoked; I think that is irresponsible for sure."

Stewart was involved in another player altercation in November 2021, but that one happened on the court. 

In the third quarter of a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Pistons, NBA legend LeBron James' elbow struck Stewart's mouth when their arms became tangled during a free throw, leaving the latter player bloodied and angry. Hoards of people tried to restrain him as he charged at James multiple times.

Both players were ejected from the game, which the Lakers ended up winning. The NBA then suspended James for one game — his first and only suspension in his 21-year career — and Stewart for two games.

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