Amir Johnson didn’t play in Game 1 against the Brooklyn Nets, but he quickly because the story after the Sixers were upset on Saturday. Johnson was caught on ESPN cameras on a cell phone, showing Sixers center Joel Embiid what appeared to be a text message during a game in which the Sixers were trailing.
Philadelphia went on to lose Game 1 at home on Saturday, a surprising result in the NBA’s first postseason game of the year. But all the talk after the game was about Johnson’s phone. ESPN’s broadcast addressed the matter and video of Johnson and Embiid looking at the phone quickly spread on social media.
The Sixers said Johnson would be dealt with quickly, and shortly after the game, the team released a statement saying that Johnson had been fined. They also shared a statement made on behalf of Johnson, who did not address the media after the game.
Embiid spoke to reporters on Saturday after the loss and said the phone was there because Johnson’s daughter was sick, but that excuse didn’t fly for the Sixers. As many noted, the NBA does not allow phones on the bench no matter the circumstances, and it was expected that Johnson would see a fine regardless of what explanation was given. We now know that is, indeed, the case.