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Pistons center arrested for punching opponent hours before tip-off

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Isaiah Stewart

Isaiah Stewart
Photo: AP

Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart was arrested for assault Wednesday after punching Phoenix Suns center Drew Eubanks well before the game actually tipped off.

Phoenix police gave Stewart a citation and then released him. Stewart had already been ruled out of the game with a sprained ankle. Eubanks went on to play, posting six points and eight rebounds in the Suns’ 116-100 win.

“Around 4:45 p.m. Phoenix police officers were working in a security capacity during a Suns home game at Footprint Arena when they were called to a fight between two players inside the arena’s parking lot,” Phoenix Police Sergeant Phil Krynsky said in a statement, per The Athletic. “When the officers arrived, they were directed by security to the players involved. The players were identified as 27-year-old Drew Eubanks and 22-year-old Isaiah Stewart. Officers spoke to both players involved and a number of people who witnessed the incident. They learned there was an argument between both players as they arrived at the arena. Witnesses said the argument escalated when they saw Stewart punch Eubanks, causing a minor injury. Both men were separated by security which ended the fight. Detectives responded to investigate the incident and collect evidence. Stewart was arrested for assault and issued a citation and released. The investigation remains active.”

Eubanks said the alternation occurred as he was arriving to the arena. They were chest to chest in an argument before Stewart threw a punch. Security broke them up and waited for police to arrive.

“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.”

Pistons head coach Monty Williams was aware of the situation and believed the Suns should not have weighed in with a statement until the conclusion of the investigation.

“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.”

This is not the first altercation for Stewart. In 2021, the Pistons center was suspended for two games for an on-court altercation with LeBron James.

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