PHILADELPHIA – Joel Embiid called him.
ESPN cameras surprised Embiid and his 76ers teammate, Amir Johnson, watching his cell phone during the 1: 1 Nets win on Saturday.
It's a violation of the NBA rules – Commissioner Adam Silver was present at the Wells Fargo Center – and an event that obviously upset Philadelphia coach Brett Brown.
"It's completely unacceptable and we're going to do it internally very soon," Brown said. "It's not something we are and we certainly do not tolerate."
Very quickly, it turned out that in a few hours, the 76ers fined Johnson.
"The 76ers' organization fined Amir Johnson for damaging conduct to the team. I approached the problem with Amir directly and he understands why his actions were unacceptable, "said Philadelphia General Manager Elton Brand in a statement. "We are moving forward together and we are now focusing on the second game."
The Nets rolled, leading 104-88 with 6:20 to play in the game when Embiid and Johnson were caught looking at the phone.
Embiid quickly attracted the attention of journalist Doris Burke and social media. For his part, the 76ers' center said he was talking about the sick child of his teammate.
"Obviously, I was not on my phone," said Embiid. "I just looked down because he said that his daughter was extremely sick and that he was watching her. So I do not know. I just watched. But he was checking his daughter. She is sick."
Johnson then excused himself in a statement.
"I'm sorry to have my phone on the bench in today's game, I take full responsibility and accept the consequences of my actions," said Johnson. "I also apologize to my teammates, the organization of the 76ers and supporters for the distraction it caused."
It temporarily replaced the distraction that had caused Embiid's health. After Embiid and Brand had stated that they were unsure whether Embiid's painful knee would allow him to play in the first match, the center was considered dubious and was a game decision.
Embiid started with 22 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks and four assists. But he managed only 5 of 15 points overall, missed all five of his 3 points and made three turnovers and a technical foul for throwing Jared Dudley on the ground.
Oh, and a major cell stumble.
"It really worries me," Burke said on the show. "Amir Johnson is not active, but he's on the bench and it's a cell phone. I can not say, but we all know what a text message looks like. Like, what does it do to me?
The sold out crowd of 20,437 covered the Sixers were boos for much of the match. After dropping a 20-1 series that covered the first and second quarters, the local team was mocked very often.
"I love fans and I have never said anything about them. They show us all a lot of love. I want to say, [the booing is] understandable, "said Embiid," They come in, they pay a lot of money, they want an entertaining game, they want to watch us win, so I understand why they boo. "