Pistons’ Stewart Arrested For Punching Suns’ Eubanks Before Wednesday’s Game

FEBRUARY 15, 7:00am: Stewart was arrested by Phoenix police for assault, according to Mark McClune of KTVK 3TV (Twitter link), who says the Pistons big man was issued a citation and was released. The police investigation into the incident remains active.

Meanwhile, Pistons head coach Monty Williams said after Wednesday’s game that the Suns’ statement on the incident was “irresponsible” (Twitter link via Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press).

“I know Phoenix came out and said it was unprovoked. I think it’s irresponsible,” Williams said. “… Until you find out everything, you can’t make those statements. I heard about that, and that did not need to happen.”

FEBRUARY 14, 7:55pm: The Suns have released a statement regarding the incident, per Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic (Twitter link). “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.”

A league spokesperson confirmed the NBA will review the altercation, Rankin adds (via Twitter).

FEBRUARY 14, 7:10pm: Prior to Wednesday’s game in Phoenix, Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart punched Suns center Drew Eubanks in the face, sources tell Shams Charania of The Athletic (Twitter link). The NBA is expected to review footage of the incident, Charania adds.

According to Charania and James L. Edwards III of The Athletic, it’s unclear what initiated the incident, but evidently the two big men were “chest-to-chest” before Stewart landed a punch near Eubanks’ lip. Police separated the two players and “inspected the scene,” per The Athletic’s report.

Speaking to reporters pregame, Eubanks confirmed he was hit, as Gerald Bouguet of PHNX Sports relays (All Twitter links). Phoenix’s backup center said he’d just arrived to the arena and was in street clothes when the incident occurred, adding that he had never been involved in any other off-court altercations with Stewart.

Words were said, I got sucker punched, and security intervened. … Clearly you can see what he does, how he acts on the court, so it wasn’t surprising,” Eubanks said.

Eubanks added that he was fine and will be playing tonight vs. Detroit, while Stewart is inactive with an ankle sprain.

Wednesday will mark Stewart’s eighth straight absence due to the injury, with his last appearance coming January 28. As Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press tweets, Stewart had been slated to return to action immediately after the All-Star break, but that return could be postponed if he’s suspended, which seems very likely.

According to Sankofa (Twitter link), the Pistons had no comment on the altercation as of 7:15 pm CT.

In November 2021, Stewart was suspended for two games without pay “for escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively” pursuing LeBron James, who received a one-game suspension for “recklessly hitting Stewart in the face” and initiating the incident. Both players were ejected — Stewart received two technical fouls and James received a Flagrant 2 foul. The video of that incident can be found here.

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