Late in the second quarter of Wednesday’s game between the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons, Orlando was seconds away from committing a turnover. With Moe Wagner presumably shielding the ball to prevent any Pistons from scooping it up and starting a fast break, Killian Hayes was in hot pursuit. As Hayes caught up to Wagner, the 6’11 big man dealt out quite the blow with his forearm, which sent Hayes stumbling into Detroit’s bench.
Hayes immediately took exception to Wagner’s actions and leaped off his seat for retaliation, clubbing Wagner in the back of the head with the side of his fist, despite his coaches trying to restrain him. From there, Hayes’ teammates trickled in, followed by Wagner’s Magic teammates. It was a mess, full of pushing, shoving, and many people trying to separate others and avoid further conflict. The benches cleared and tempers flared. More than just Hayes and Wagner were animated with one another. Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley was held back at one point as well.
One angle shows how cleanly Hayes connected with the back of Wagner’s head, which sent the Magic big man tumbling into Detroit’s bench.
After a few minutes of deliberation from officials, a flagrant 2 was issued to Wagner, who was also ejected. Hayes and Hamidou Diallo — the latter of whom pushed Wagner before Hayes reached him — are also done for the night.
Flagrant-2 on Mo Wagner, ejected; Killian Hayes is ejected; Diallo is also ejected
Pistons lead by 19 with 33 seconds left.
— James L. Edwards III (@JLEdwardsIII) December 29, 2022
Given the NBA’s precedent on incidents like this, one would imagine some suspensions will be announced in the coming days, perhaps for both sides involved.