NBA likely to investigate altercation between Pistons’ Isaiah Stewart, Suns’ Drew Eubanks

By Thomson Reuters Feb 15, 2024 | 2:02 PM

NBA officials are expected to review details of an incident that led to Detroit Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart being cited for throwing a punch during an altercation with Phoenix Suns center Drew Eubanks before Wednesday’s game between the two games.

Phoenix police Sgt. Phil Krynsky said Stewart and Eubanks argued in the parking tunnel of Footprint Arena as they arrived for the game. Krynsky said witnesses reported seeing Stewart, 22, punch Eubanks, 27, before the players were separated by security officials.

Stewart was arrested on an assault charge, cited and released, said Krynsky, who added Eubanks suffered a “minor injury.”

Eubanks played in the game and scored six points and pulled down six rebounds in the Suns’ 116-100 win. Stewart had been ruled out ahead of the game with an ankle injury.

“Just walking in and words were said and got sucker punched and security stepped in and that was it,” Eubanks said before the game, The Arizona Republic reported.

The Suns issued a statement in support of Eubanks.

“The attack on Drew Eubanks was unprovoked, and acts of violence such as this are unacceptable,” the team said. “We unequivocally support Drew, and will continue to work with local law enforcement and the NBA.”

The Pistons said Wednesday night they were working to learn more.

“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, who was the Suns’ head coach from 2019-23, called the Phoenix statement “irresponsible.”

“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.”

Stewart is in his fourth season with the Pistons, who selected him No. 16 overall in the 2020 NBA Draft. Sidelined by injury since Jan. 28, he has played in 35 games (34 starts) and is averaging 11.0 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this season.

Eubanks, in his sixth NBA season, has played in 49 games (three starts) this season and is averaging 5.7 points and 4.3 rebounds.

Stewart was suspended for two games and the Los Angeles’ Lakers LeBron James for one after the two tangled on the court during a 2021 game.

–Field Level Media