DETROIT ( Associated Press) — Moritz Wagner was briefly sidelined after suffering a blow to the back of the neck in the first half of the Orlando Magic’s game against the Detroit Pistons.
Wednesday night’s brawl resulted in three ejections and was at times reminiscent of a brawl in Detroit 18 years ago.
Wagner was ejected for a flagrant foul. The referees also ejected Kilian Hayes and Hamadou Diallo for participating in a brawl in front of the Pistons’ bench.
Wagner and Hayes followed up a Magic deflection with 34 seconds remaining in the first half. The ball went to the other side of the field, and Wagner knew that if he touched it, he would face a foul.
Thus, he stopped the march, expecting the ball to go out of bounds. Hayes tried to pass him on the sidelines.
But Wagner hip-shed Hayes, who crashed into the Detroit bench. This ignited a pitch battle between the two teams.
Hayes got up and slammed his hand behind Wagner’s head, who fell to the ground, apparently unconscious.
“Okay,” said his younger brother Franz. “I haven’t seen the video, but I know it’s the last thing he wanted to provoke.”
In 2004, the fight between the Pistons and the Indiana Pacers was remembered as one of the worst in NBA history. Even the fans participated in the confrontation.
Several Magic players could be suspended for leaving the dugout area during a brawl. These include Franz Wagner, Cole Anthony, Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Harris, Mo Bamba, RJ Hampton, Terrence Ross, and Admiral Schofield.
Pistons coach Dwayne Casey said, “I need someone to explain the decision, because I understand you can’t leave the bench area and create a situation like this.” “That’s where bad things can happen.”
Franz Wagner said that the Magic players did not feel they had a choice.
“We are aware of the rule, but there are things that usually happen in court, not on any one bench,” he explained. “You worry about who your partner is among all the members of the other team.”