Moritz Wagner is well-known among Motor City fans. The former Michigan basketball star was an integral part of the Wolverines’ last trip to the national championship game. And, while charming in the maize and blue, his irritant style is now one of his calling cards in the NBA.
Wagner did all of that and more against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday at Little Caesars Arena.
During an Orlando Magic possession late in the second quarter, Wagner and Detroit’s Killian Hayes were running toward a loose ball that bounced in the backcourt and toward the Pistons’ bench.
Wagner gave up on playing the ball and shoved Hayes into the Pistons’ bench area as the ball rolled out of bounds.
As other Magic players descended on the area, the Pistons players and coaching staff reacted as Hamidou Diallo, who was in the game, came from behind and shoved Wagner in the back.
Hayes regained his footing and struck Wagner in the back of the head with a punch from behind. In addition, several Orlando players who were not playing came over to the Pistons’ bench area, ostensibly to protect teammates.
After a lengthy delay, the officials determined that Wagner had committed a Flagrant-2 foul, which resulted in an automatic ejection. Diallo and Hayes were also thrown out.
This incident is likely to result in a slew of fines and suspensions.