On the Saturday afternoon Game 1 of the playoffs series between Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets, TV cameras caught 76ers benchwarmer Amir Johnson and player Joel Embiid staring down at a cellphone which was a violation of the NBA rules.
Embiid immediately heard about all of it on social media and after the game provided an explanation for it. He told the media, “Obviously I was not on the phone. I only looked down because h told me that his daughter was very sick and he was checking on her. So, I don’t know I looked. He was just checking up on his sick daughter.”
76ers squandering their home court advantage received the boos as they lost the Game 1 to Brooklyn Nets by 111-102.
Embiid said, “I love the fans and I never said anything about them. They show us a lot of love. As for their boos, they are understandable. The come here and pay a lot of money to expect to see a good entertaining game. They are watching here for us to win. So I completely understand their boos.”
Embiid, struggling with his sore knees, finished for the night with 22 points, 4 assists, 15 rebounds as well as 5 blocks.
76ers also later announced to the public that they had fined Johnson for his conduct that was detrimental to the team.
In his statement to the team, Johnson said, “I apologize for having my phone on the bench in today’s game. I take full responsibility and will accept the consequences of my actions. I also apologize to my teammates, the 76ers organization and the fans for the distraction this has caused.”