The 2021-22 season saw Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James end up in an altercation with Isaiah Stewart of the Detroit Pistons. Apparently, Gilbert Arenas’ comments afterward didn’t sit well with Stewart.
The retired point guard recently shared a story of how the big man “pulled up” on him. This came after Arenas sent a lengthy message to Stewart on social media and tagged him, which the former sharpshooter admitted was a mistake.
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Unfortunately for Arenas, he happened upon the 6-foot-8, 250-pound bruiser at one of Isaiah Thomas’ “Zeke-End” basketball events in Tacoma, Wash.
Speaking about the encounter, the outspoken three-time All-Star initially joked that he bravely told off Stewart for pulling up on him, but that was, in fact, not the truth.
“Reality was kind of like this,” Arenas said. “Me and B-Roy (Brandon Roy) was talking. … And then, s—, like, ‘Oh, s—. Hey, big fella.’ He was bigger than I thought. He big on TV. I got a big TV. He was big on TV, but he was really big in person, and then he came with Debo energy, right? So, I backed up, like, ‘Hey, how you doing big fella?’ And I was looking him up and down, but not like how I — it was in my head. It was more like, ‘Huh? Okay. Yeah.’ … I even tried to go, ‘Hey, I was just playing. Hey, I don’t want to fight.’ I ain’t gonna lie. I didn’t have my gun on me. Don’t laugh at me. Oh, I’m supposed to get my a– whooped all down them Tacoma hallway. Is you crazy?”
No one should blame for Arenas for not backing up his talk when he finally met Stewart in person. After all, the University of Washington product has an imposing frame and has shown that he is not afraid to mix it up with anyone in the NBA.
He even charged at James — whose wayward elbow caused a cut on his face — multiple times during that fateful evening in the 2021-22 campaign.
For his antics, Stewart was ejected from the contest, which the Pistons lost by five points. In addition, the NBA suspended the big man for two games. Since then, he has also made other headlines, such as when he and Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green had a heated exchange last season.
Still, despite his strong nature, Stewart has shown value as a starter in the league. In the 2021-22 campaign, he started all 71 games he appeared in, posting 8.3 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. Last season, he was in the starting lineup for 47 of his 50 appearances. He finished the regular season with averages of 11.3 points and 8.1 rebounds per contest.
It remains to be seen if he will continue his role as a starter, as Detroit has other promising big men on its roster, including Jalen Duren and James Wiseman.