- Arron Afflalo threw a haymaker at Nemanja Bjelica in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s game between the Orlando Magic and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
- Both players were ejected from the game.
- The tussle was just the latest odd occurrence in what’s been a surprisingly confrontational week across the NBA.
The NBA’s wild week continued on Tuesday as the Orlando Magic and the Minnesota Timberwolves had to be separated after Arron Afflalo threw a haymaker at Nemanja Bjelica, who immediately put Afflalo in a headlock.
The chaos came in the second quarter of Tuesday night’s game, after the Timberwolves inbounded from their own baseline. After a missed jumper from Jamal Crawford, Afflalo and Bjelica began to get physical, trading a few shoves before Afflalo threw a full swing and just barely missed connecting. Bjelica, working with a significant reach advantage, put Afflalo in a headlock and held up the struggle until the two could be properly separated.
You can watch the scene play out below.
Nemanja Bjelica & Arron Afflalo Fight: A punch was really thrown in a NBA game! pic.twitter.com/EhJ1GAwbuC
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) January 17, 2018
Both Afflalo and Bjelica were ejected from the game for their infractions. As you can see above, Afflalo was essentially escorted off the floor. The Magic would go on to win the game 108-102.
After the game, Bjelica said his actions were merely self-defence. “I don’t want to feel like a victim here, that’s part of the game,” he said. “But he took a swing at me, and I was just trying to protect myself, first of all, and to calm him down because he was wild. I don’t know what’s wrong with that guy, but at that point I have to protect myself and my family.”
Afflalo was not available for comment after the game.
It’s been a strangely tense week across the NBA so far. On Monday Houston and Los Angeles got into a confrontation after the game when four Rockets players – Chris Paul, James Harden, Trevor Ariza, and Gerald Green – “breached” the Los Angeles locker room to confront the Clippers.
The moment inspired befuddlement among basketball fans and scores of laughter from the “Inside the NBA” crew.
Hopefully everyone in the NBA can chill out a bit over the next few days.
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