The Philadelphia 76ers came out flat in their Game 1 matchup with the Brooklyn Nets, losing at home 111-102 despite a tremendous performance from Jimmy Butler.
Aside from Butler and a clearly hobbled Joel Embiid, few on the Sixers made a positive impact and the murmurs about Philly’s roster construction and ability to go deep in the playoffs as built only grew louder with the performance. However, after the game, much of the discussion was about an incident on the bench late in the game when a camera caught Amir Johnson checking texts on his phone, and Embiid looking down at the phone as well.
After the game, Brett Brown said it was unacceptable and Johnson was fined and issued an apology. Embiid claimed Johnson was checking in on his sick daughter, but in any case the team seems ready to move on. Still, there have been many around the league upset with the phone usage on the bench, but as Draymond Green noted on Twitter, it really shouldn’t be that big of a deal.
It’s a fair point from Draymond, as the ubiquitous nature of cell phones today makes this probably a lesser deal than many have made it out to be, especially if it was Johnson checking in on his sick daughter. There is a bit of a distance checking the phone at an office and doing so during a basketball game, namely because the league has a policy in place to prevent that where as most offices do not.
Still, Green’s point stands that in today’s world, phones are almost always in use and while it may be deserving of the fine given it violates a league policy, it isn’t some horrible act done by Johnson that caused Philly to lose.