NBA issued a heavy punishment to Isaiah Stewart after a pregame confrontation with Suns’ Drew Eubanks

The NBA on Thursday suspended Detroit Pistons forward-center Isaiah Stewart for three games without pay for “initiating a physical altercation with Phoenix Suns forward-center Drew Eubanks” before the team’s game at Footprint Center in Phoenix. “Stewart punched and pushed Eubanks during the altercation,” the league said in a news release. Stewart is set to begin serving his ban Thursday, when the Pistons face the Indiana Pacers.

Suns' Drew Eubanks says Pistons' Isaiah Stewart ‘sucker punched' him before  game

The altercation occurred on February 14, hours before the Pistons and Suns game, and Stewart, 22, was detained for assault, cited, and released, according to a Phoenix Police Department news release. According to the report, the event occurred in the arena’s parking tunnel. Eubanks was on his way to the Suns’ locker room when Stewart stopped him, according to the Arizona Republic, which is part of the USA TODAY Network.

“Just walking in, words were said, I got sucker punched, security stepped in, and that was it,” Eubanks told the Republic. The Suns’ backup big man told the Republic he was fine and that Stewart’s punch was “soft.” Eubanks played 17 minutes in the Suns’ 116-100 win over Detroit, scoring six points and grabbing eight rebounds. Stewart has already been suspended for a November 2021 incident in which he confronted Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James after James busted up Stewart’s face while fighting for a ball. Stewart received a two-game suspension for that event.

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