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Philadelphia 76ers teammates Amir Johnson and Joel Embiid instantaneously became the butt of jokes across Twitter on Saturday afternoon when cameras caught them looking down at Johnson’s phone on the sideline during the Sixers’ 111-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
However, Embiid explained in his postgame press conference why the two were checking text messages during a playoff game:
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Embiid says Amir Johnson was using his phone to check on his daughter who is “extremely sick.”
Johnson was inactive for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series and headed to the team’s locker room soon after he was spotted looking at his phone.
Embiid played through a knee injury, scoring 22 points and grabbing 15 boards in 24 minutes on the floor.
But his performance and guard Jimmy Butler’s game-high 36 points were not enough to propel Philly over Brooklyn, who dominated on the Sixers’ home floor.
The fallout from such a poor loss is certainly concerning for the team as a whole. Meanwhile, Johnson and Embiid may very well be disciplined for violating rules laid out in the NBA Operations Manual, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks.