The extended tension in the first-round series between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers finally boiled over on Saturday afternoon at Barclays Center. During the third quarter, Joel Embiid fouled Jarrett Allen, and thinking it was dirty, Jared Dudley ran in and shoved Embiid. Jimmy Butler then came in and mixed it up with Dudley, and by the time the dust settled, Embiid got hit with a flagrant foul, while Butler and Dudley were ejected.
It took until Sunday evening, but the league finally handed down fines for the incident. We’ll get to Embiid in a second, but Dudley and Butler will be writing checks to the league, with the grizzled Nets veteran forking over a little more.
As for Embiid, Tim Bontemps of ESPN reports that his flagrant foul won’t be rescinded by the league. This now gives him two flagrant foul points, and once a player hits four in the postseason, they get a one-game suspension by the league.
After the game on Saturday, Embiid made it very clear he did not believe he did anything excessive to deserve a flagrant foul against Allen. When Butler was asked about the fracas and said he doesn’t believe “you should run up on anybody” like Dudley did to Embiid, the big man chimed in.
“Especially because the foul was actually all ball,” Embiid interjected.
Butler ended up agreeing with this assessment, and later in the press conference after a Warriors joke led to Butler getting up and leaving the podium, Embiid addressed it again, saying that he’s not the kind of player who would try to be hyper-aggressive with an opponent like that.
“I didn’t think it was a flagrant foul,” Embiid stressed. “I saw the replay, and I felt like I got all ball. So I have no idea why it was a flagrant foul. I’m not that type of player, any chance that I get, I try to go for the ball, and then if I feel like I made a mistake, I always apologize.”
Embiid will look to avoid getting in any more hot water during Game 5 in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Should the Sixers win, they’ll clinch a berth in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where they’ll play either the Toronto Raptors or Orlando Magic. If the Nets come out on top, the series would shift to Brooklyn for a Game 6 on Thursday.