NBA: Drew Eubanks says Isaiah Stewart punched him pregame

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Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart (28) warms up before an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards, Monday, Jan. 15, 2024, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

PHOENIX— Phoenix Suns center Drew Eubanks said Detroit Pistons center Isaiah Stewart punched him Wednesday at the arena hours before the teams played in the NBA.

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.

“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 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 after the Suns beat the Pistons 116-100. “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 already listed as out for the game with a sprained left ankle. He missed the Pistons’ previous seven games with the injury.

Stewart was involved in an on-court altercation with the Lakers’ LeBron James in 2021 that saw Stewart suspended for two games and LeBron 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.”



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