Wild brawl in Magic-Timberwolves leads to 5 player ejections
Another day, another wild brawl in the NBA.
This time, the melee came late in the third quarter of Friday's game between the Orlando Magic and Minnesota Timberwolves and resulted in five players being ejected.
The beginning of the fight was so sudden that the broadcast had no idea what was going on, but further replay showed Timberwolves guard Austin Rivers had approached the Magic bench over some jawing after he missed a 3-pointer. Magic big man Mo Bamba welcomed him with some fisticuffs.
Soon, the two were grappling as several teammates jumped in to either break up the fight or give their side some back-up.
Tempers flare during the Magic and Timberwolves game 👀
The altercation resulted in 5 players getting ejected.pic.twitter.com/hBJ02iuttY
— Yahoo Sports (@YahooSports) February 4, 2023
Play eventually resumed with Rivers, Bamba, Jalen Suggs, Jaden McDaniels and Taurean Prince all ejected. The Magic, up 10 at the time of the brawl, eventually won 127-120. Rivers finished the game with zero points on 0-of-2 shooting and one assist in 10 minutes, while Bamba had 11 points and four rebounds in 20 minutes.
Of course, the action didn't end once the players were off the court. From the locker room, Bamba posted a meme with a clear message: "F*** around and find out."
Mo Bamba's IG story after getting ejected 😳 pic.twitter.com/sTu3Ss0wTK
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) February 4, 2023
And then Rivers posted his own response, complaining that Bamba had a numbers advantage and insisting Orlando, where Rivers played in high school, is "my city."
“We only know you from an old rap song”
Austin Rivers responds to Mo Bamba 😳 pic.twitter.com/KmdsfNpUEV
— Complex Sports (@ComplexSports) February 4, 2023
Rivers was insistent that Bamba hadn't actually hurt him as much the video appeared to show, telling reporters that Bamba's first punch had missed and that Suggs grabbing him by the neck from behind was what really bothered him.
"I'm not really going to get into what he said, I'm not going to snitch on the dude or whatever," Rivers said. "I'm not trying to portray myself as some wannabe tough guy. That's not even my MO, but for anybody who knows me, I'm not going to let somebody disrespect me or talk crazy."
Meanwhile, Markelle Fultz, the player sitting next to Bamba during the Rivers confrontation, told Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel that all Bamba was yell "normal trash talk" and stick out his tongue at Rivers.
This brawl comes one day after the on-court altercation between Dillon Brooks and Donovan Mitchell during a game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers. That fight, instigated by Brooks throwing a punch at Mitchell's groin from the floor, led to Brooks being suspended one game and Mitchell fined $20,000 on Friday.