PHOENIX — Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart was arrested for assault Wednesday for punching Phoenix Suns center Drew Eubanks at the arena hours before the teams played.
Phoenix police said Stewart was issued a citation and released. Stewart was already listed as out for the game because of a sprained left ankle. Eubanks had six points and eight rebounds in 18 minutes in the Suns’ 116-100 victory.
Eubanks said before the game that the altercation happened as he was coming into the arena. He said an argument started and they were chest to chest before Stewart threw the punch. Security intervened, and Eubanks said he was fine for the game, though police say he suffered a minor injury.
“The attack on Drew Eubanks was unprovoked, and acts of violence such as this are unacceptable,” the Suns said in a statement. “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.
“We are in the process of gathering information about what happened and what provoked it, and responding to the NBA and local authorities,” the team said.
Pistons coach Monty Williams, fired by Phoenix after last season, said he thought the Suns should not have weighed in with their statement.
“The thing is to get all of the information. The NBA will do an investigation,” Williams said. “For me to come here and make a statement would be a bit irresponsible. I know the Suns said it was unprovoked; I think that is irresponsible for sure. You really don’t know.
“That did not need to happen. There is a time for the information to be gathered, and then you can make a statement.”
Stewart was involved in an on-court altercation with the Lakers’ LeBron James in 2021 that saw Stewart suspended for two games and James for one.
“Keep the game first. There’s a lot of noise,” Suns star Kevin Durant said. “It’s unfortunate what happened before the game, it’s supposed to be a brotherhood. But I also understand, dudes get into stuff. We try to avoid that in this league, hopefully we can move on from it. We all support Drew.”