Mo Bamba comes off bench to fight Austin Rivers, five players ejected
Friday night saw a rare true punches-thrown brawl in the NBA. The Timberwolves Austin Rivers — who was in the game — had missed a corner 3 in front of the Magic bench a few possessions previously and there had been a lot of trash talk. He came over and confronted the Magic’s Mo Bamba and the fight started when Bamba came off the bench and threw punches at Rivers. And then it was on, with other players jumping in.
After the officials watched the tape, five players were ejected: Rivers, Jaden McDaniels and Taurean Prince from the Timberwolves; Bamba and Jalen Suggs from the Magic.
Before the media, Rivers took a conciliatory tone postgame, at least at first.
“This isn’t like a cool moment for me,” Rivers said, via the Associated Press. “I feel embarrassed. I’m the oldest on the team. I consider myself the leader of the team, or one of the leaders of the team. It was a weird game, and I don’t think that helped at all. If anything right now, I’m just (ticked off) that we lost, and that I had (something) to do with that. It doesn’t make me feel good.”
Bamba confronted Rivers by the locker room:— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) February 4, 2023
"He tried to run up on me or whatever. Ain’t nobody worried about him, man. I’m gonna keep it 100 with you. He let a 5-foot-8 guy push him off and take him back to the locker room. I don’t know how serious his threats were."
However, on social media the punches continued.
Expect suspensions (plural) and fines to be handed down over the weekend by the league.
The Magic went on to win the game 127-120.