Things sure got real messy this past Friday in Minnesota! The NBA resolution came in the next day, as three athletes earned a suspension after the brawl between players from both Timberwolves and Magic.
The players who were most punished were Mo Bamba and Austin Rivers as they were the two principle figures in the fight. Orlando’s center got four games suspended, as for the Minnesota’s shooting guard got three. Jalen Suggs was also given a one-game punishment as his provocations escalated the brawl.
As for Jaden McDaniels and Taurean Prince were also ejected, but only the Timberwolves’ foward was fined $20,000 for his role in the altercation.
The incident started when Rivers walked off the court toward players on the Magic sideline. This incited Bamba to get up and follow him to throw a punch at the Timberwolves reserve, who then locked arms with the Brazilian and finally stumbled on court.
Check out last Friday’s brawl in the video below and judged it yourself:
Austin Rivers leaves the #Timberwolves sideline to fight Mo Bamba. You never see a player leaving the bench area to start a fight, big suspension looming pic.twitter.com/8RNT5pQ3UT
— uSTADIUM NBA (@uSTADIUMNBA) February 4, 2023
If you look closely, it seems like Rivers also threw punches as he was dragged to the floor. Multiple players then followed, which resulted in the other suspensions.
“I’m not making any judgment on Austin, what he did. I have no idea what started it or what happened,” Minnesota coach Chris Finch said in press conference. “They had a guy come off the bench and throw a punch, which is one of the most egregious things you can do in the league right now, I mean, in these situations. But yeah, I make no judgment on Austin.”
After the game, Rivers said that he was merely standing up for himself. “I’m not some thug. I’m not a tough guy. I’m not a badass. I’m not any of those things, man,” the player mentioned. “I try to come to work and do my job. But I’ve been raised to stick up for myself, and if someone’s disrespecting me like that, I made a point just to say to him something, and he got up like that. And after that, I did what I had to do.”
Rivers explained that he did not like the way that Magic player Markelle Fultz reacted to his missed 3-pointer just before the brawl. “I just didn’t like the way he was talking to me — for no reason, too,” Rivers said.
The players then went at it each other on social media
As for Bamba, the center did not want to talk after the game, but instead decided to pour his thoughts on his Instagram page, as he posted the following image for his followers to see:
Mo Bamba and Austin Rivers both took to Instagram following their altercation during Friday’s game. pic.twitter.com/SAOdA0xDdz
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 4, 2023
Rivers as you can see, kept at it. He continued Bamba’s battle on social media, even though after the contest he had added that he has no ill will toward Bamba or any of the Magic players, but he did not like the way that Suggs pulled him by his neck.
Here are some of the internet’s best reactions from this weekend’s NBA fight:
Now Minnesota will now face the Denver Nuggets for a second time on Tuesday the 7th (8:00pm CST), whereas Orlando will face the Knicks on the same day but at 6:00pm CST.