As the Orlando Magic shifted their focus to Friday’s home game vs. the Washington Wizards (15-21), they still were waiting for the fallout from their on-court altercation during Wednesday’s 121-101 loss at the Detroit Pistons.
The Magic (13-23) didn’t know what the repercussions would be.
Nearly the Magic’s entire bench left their side of the floor to help Moe Wagner at the Pistons’ bench during the physical confrontation — potentially leaving the possibility that multiple Orlando players could be suspended. Punishments were expected but weren’t announced as of Thursday evening.
“We’ll have to go back and look at the film to see exactly what happened,” coach Jamahl Mosley said after Wednesday’s game. “I was just worried and concerned about my guys that were down on the bench, down there making sure they got away from that side.”
Wagner was assessed a Flagrant Foul Penalty 2, which results in an ejection, for shoving Pistons guard Killian Hayes into Detroit’s bench on the sideline as Hayes was attempting to chase down a loose ball in Orlando’s backcourt with 33.2 seconds remaining in the first half.
The heated turmoil between the teams broke out after Wagner’s shove.
“All I saw was the bump and from there, it just escalated quickly,” Mosley said. “I’ll have to go back and look at the film to see what happened.”
Hamidou Diallo elbowed Wagner in the back in front of the Pistons’ bench before Hayes hit Wagner in the back of the head with his forearm, leading to Wagner falling forward into the bench.
The entire Pistons’ roster surrounded Wagner before the Magic’s nearly entire bench — players and coaches — ran over to the Pistons’ side, leading to heated shoving and words exchanged.
A pair of Pistons assistant coaches covered Wagner up during the altercation before he was helped back to his feet and walked off the court. The officials reviewed the altercation for nearly 10 minutes before Wagner, Diallo, and Hayes were ejected.
Diallo and Hayes were deemed escalators of the confrontation and given technical fouls, resulting in their ejections.
“Honestly, don’t really want to talk too much about it,” said Franz Wagner, the younger brother of Moe. “Emotions are high in these games. People are going to look at the film and determine what’s right to do. It’s tough for us, especially in front of their bench, seeing one of our teammates have that happen to them.”
Per “Rule 12A — Section VII — ‘Fines’” of the NBA’s rulebook:
“During an altercation, all players not participating in the game must remain in the immediate vicinity of their bench. Violators will be subject to suspension, without pay, for a minimum of one game and fined up to $50,000.
- The suspensions will commence prior to the start of their next game.
- A team must have a minimum of eight players dressed and ready to play in every preseason and regular season game and nine in any playoff game.
- If five or more players leave the bench, the players will serve their suspensions alphabetically, according to the first letters of their last name.
- If seven bench players are suspended, four of them would be suspended for the first game following the altercation. The remaining three would be suspended for the second game following the altercation.”
The Magic’s next game after Friday comes against the Oklahoma City Thunder Jan. 4 at Amway Center.
Among the players who weren’t in the game during the altercation whom the Orlando Sentinel saw leave the bench during the broadcast were: Cole Anthony, Mo Bamba, Wendell Carter Jr., Gary Harris, Kevon Harris, R.J. Hampton, Admiral Schofield and Franz Wagner.
Terrence Ross was the lone Magic player who wasn’t already in the game that the Sentinel didn’t see leave the bench area.
Markelle Fultz, Caleb Houstan, Paolo Banchero, Bol Bol and Moe Wagner were the Magic players in the game.
“Obviously, we’re aware,” Franz Wagner responded when asked if the young Magic knew about possibility of being suspended for leaving the vicinity of the bench during the altercation. “Normally, something like that happens on the court and not in front of one of the benches.
“Part of our worry as teammates is [we] don’t want [our] teammate alone amongst the whole other team. I don’t want to say what’s right or what’s wrong, but yeah.”
As of Thursday evening, Bamba (back pain) and Moe Wagner (illness) were listed as questionable for Friday.
Jonathan Isaac (left knee injury recovery), Chuma Okeke (left knee surgery) and Jalen Suggs (right ankle soreness) remain out.
This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.