The Pistons’ Killian Hayes was suspended three games for punching the Magic’s Moritz Wagner in the back of the head while the Orlando center received a two-game ban for pushing an opponent – and nine other players earned a game ban after a wild fight.
The NBA has suspended 11 players involved in an on-court brawl during the Detroit Pistons’ win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.
The instigators, Killian Hayes and Mo Wagner, were suspended three and two games respectively on Thursday. Meanwhile, Hamidou Diallo will sit out one game.
The NBA isn’t done there yet. It suspended eight Magic players – Cole Anthony, RJ Hampton, Gary Harris, Kevon Harris, Admiral Schofield, Franz Wagner, Mo Bamba and Wendell Carter, Jr. – for a single game for leaving the bench in the middle of court fights. All eleven were suspended without pay.
Mo Wagner appeared to be briefly KO’d by a blow to the back of the head during the fights
Wagner appeared to be briefly knocked unconscious following a blow to the back of the head by Hayes after being hip-checked by his team’s bench.
The pair started the fight that led to three ejections on Wednesday night in a scene that triggered memories of an ugly fight in Detroit 18 years ago – The Malice at the Palace.
Wagner was ejected for the flagrant foul, along with Detroit’s Hayes and Diallo, who were also ejected for their actions in the ensuing scuffle. Detroit was able to win 121-101.
Wagner appeared shaken but his younger brother and teammate confirmed he was ‘fine’
Hayes lowered his right arm and struck Wagner, who fell and appeared to be momentarily unconscious. This was followed by a hip-check by Wagner on Hayes who got up angrily and reacted with force.
Mo Wagner’s suspension begins Friday when Washington comes to Orlando’s Amway Center. Orlando’s prominent eight will serve their suspensions ‘on a staggered basis’ ensuring eight healthy players are available for its next two games, according to an NBA statement.
Anthony, Bamba, Carter, Jr., Hampton and G. Harris will miss Friday vs. the Wizards. K. Harris, Schofield and F. Wagner will be suspended for Orlando’s next game on Jan. 4 at Oklahoma City.
Meanwhile, Hayes will sit out starting in Chicago Friday, while Diallo joins him on the sidelines for his one-game suspension.
Following the game Wagner’s younger brother – and Magic Teammate – Franz confirmed to the AP that his brother is ‘fine.’
The Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons both had a rough start to Wednesday night’s game
‘I haven’t seen the video,’ he said. ‘But I know that’s the last thing he wants to do.’
With 33.2 seconds left in the first half, Wagner and Hayes chased down an errant Magic pass in the backcourt. Wagner knew Orlando was going to be called for a backcourt violation the moment he touched it, and as he slowed it down to release it, Hayes tried to pass him on the sideline.
Wagner’s check on Hayes on the Detroit bench set off a scuffle involving every player on both teams.
‘I need an explanation about the decision because my understanding is you can’t leave the bench area and escalate a situation,’ Pistons coach Dwane Casey said postgame. ‘That’s when really bad things can happen.’
Wagner and Hayes went at it in the first half – both in and out of the game – before being ejected
Franz Wagner said Magic players didn’t feel like they had a choice.
‘We know the rule, but things like this usually happen in court, not in one of the benches,’ he said.
‘Your concern is that your teammate is down in the middle of the whole other team.’
With memories of The Malice at the Palace from 2004 – where fans were among the fracas – very much on the minds of many inside Little Caesars Arena, the Pistons announcer assured that nothing like that would ever happen.
‘Stay in your seats. The moment you move, you’ll be in jail,’ he told the PA.