Detroit Pistons forward suspended three games after punching opponent before game, league says

Detroit Pistons forward Isaiah Stewart has been suspended three games without pay after an altercation with a Phoenix Suns player prior to a game between the two teams, the NBA announced.

The 22-year-old was arrested for assault after punching Suns forward Drew Eubanks before the two teams played on February 14 at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Eubanks, 27, sustained a minor injury.

Stewart was later issued a citation and released, according to a news release from the Phoenix Police Department.

“Detectives responded to investigate the incident and collect evidence,” Phoenix Police said after the incident, adding the investigation still remains active.

The league said Stewart “initiated a physical altercation” and “punched and pushed Eubanks during the altercation,” in the parking tunnel of the arena that afternoon following an argument between the two players. The two men were separated by police.

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

Suns head coach Frank Vogel said “there is no place for anything like that in our game.”

Stewart began serving his suspension on Wednesday night in the Pistons’ 129-115 loss to the Indiana Pacers. He has not played since January 28 due to a left ankle sprain.

CNN has sought comment from Stewart’s representation.

In 2021, Stewart was involved in an on-court altercation with superstar LeBron James who made contact with the Pistons player’s face. James was suspended for a game without pay for the first time in his career as a result.

Stewart is in his fourth season with the Pistons, averaging 11 points and 6.8 rebounds per game in 35 games played this season.

After the game, Pistons head coach Monty Williams said he and other team officials had talked to Stewart, who gave them his side of the story. He also lambasted the Suns for the statement they released after the incident.

“I think that is irresponsible […] I think there’s a time for information to be gathered and then you can make a statement,” Williams said.

Following the incident, the Pistons added they “are in the process of gathering information about what happened and what provoked it, and responding to the NBA and local authorities.”

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