Watch: Amir Johnson, Joel Embiid check texts on bench during blowout
The Philadelphia 76ers had a very rough opener to their first round series against the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, and two of their players did themselves no favors on the bench, either.
With the Sixers down by 16 points with just over six minutes left in the fourth quarter, ESPN’s cameras caught Joel Embiid and Amir Johnson on the bench seemingly checking a text message on the bench during the game.
Amir Johnson and Embiid Laughing About Text Message While Down pic.twitter.com/rXvh156Xyc
— The Render (@TheRenderNBA) April 13, 2019
Color commentator Doris Burke immediately called out both players, especially Embiid, who was active and playing in the game, unlike Johnson. It looks even worse considering how bad the team looked in the game.
ESPN’s Bobby Marks noted that use of a cell phone on the bench during a game is a violation of NBA rules, and could open the door for fines or suspensions.
Use of a cell phone on the bench is a violation of the NBA Operations Manual. Violation will result in a substantial fine and/or suspension.
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) April 13, 2019
We’ve seen players using cell phones as celebratory props during games in other sports. Openly checking one on the bench — especially during a blowout playoff loss — is definitely rare and a very bad look. It will be interesting to see if more comes of this.