Pistons big man Isaiah Stewart was handed a harsh reality check from former All-Star Gilbert Arenas after his incensed attack of Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James on Sunday.
Stewart was hit by a stray blow from James while jostling for a rebound, causing a large amount of blood. The former first-round pick went after James multiple times after taking the blow, dipping, dodging and plowing through a line of defenders trying to stop him from causing a sequel to the “Malice at the Palace.”
Arenas had a long message for Stewart on social media following the incident.
“Hey brother, imma just be real with ya here,” Arenas wrote on a post that had the video of the fracas. “Pack all s–t, pack yo winter jackets and boots because yo a– is about to be traded to (Budapest) somewhere. I don’t know what type of bumbaclot blood got in yo eye BUT u can’t charge at the #KING like that on TV.”
Arenas to Stewart: ‘Don’t Ever Square Up With LeBron’
Arenas was basically saying that James and the league will make Stewart’s life hell after the clash, which put their largest star in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Arenas, who was no stranger to controversy in the NBA himself, also gave Stewart some rules to live by in the NBA.
“You will be drug tested expeditiously, just to make sure that rage ain’t drug related” Arenas wrote. “You probably haven’t read the memo on fight attempts in the NBA. No. 1, don’t square up with [LeBron James] or [Kevin Durant] EVER💯 . No. 2, them two light skin boys [Stephen Curry] and [Klay Thompson] don’t let ya chest get puffy towards them or yo ass is done. No. 3, only two teams that’s allowed to fist fight without any real penalties is where ever [Rajon Rondo] and [Chris Paul] at. No. 4, wait til yo teammates get around u and then act tuff (for the crowd) sell it like WWE.”
Stewart has earned a reputation as a bit of a wild card early on in his career. Earlier this season he had a rough encounter with Nets forward Blake Griffin and also has a history with Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
James, Stewart Learn of Punishments
Stewart and James learned of their punishment on Monday. Stewart will miss a pair of games for his tirade, while James will miss a single game.
Per an NBA release, Stewart was disciplined for “escalating an on-court altercation by repeatedly and aggressively pursuing James in an unsportsmanlike manner.”
James was dealt the first suspension of his career “for recklessly hitting Stewart in the face and initiating an on-court altercation.” James will forfeit about $284,000 in salary, while Stewart will lose about $45,000.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, James tried to apologize to Stewart following the game.
“I’m told LeBron James did try to track down Isaiah Stewart’s number postgame to apologize to Stewart again and let him know it was an inadvertent hit,” Charania said on the Pat McAfee Show.
The Lakers face the Pistons on Sunday in Los Angeles and all eyes will be on the duo.