Tensions are rising between the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers after Joel Embiid’s apology struck a chord with some Nets.
The Philadelphia 76ers punched the Brooklyn Nets in the mouth during a dominant third quarter on Monday. However, just prior to the end of the first half, Joel Embiid drilled Jarrett Allen with an elbow to the face.
Embiid was assessed a flagrant foul for the violent play. Following the game, Embiid was asked about the play.
Joel Embiid caught Jarrett Allen with a hard elbow and was given a flagrant 1. pic.twitter.com/scfnb8Oj1N
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 16, 2019
Sixers' Joel Embiid & Ben Simmons crack up laughing while Embiid was trying to apologize for flagrant elbow to Nets' Jarrett Allen during Game 2 win: "I got him pretty good but I'm sorry about it. it wasn't intentional. …. I'm not usually humble that's why he's laughing." pic.twitter.com/Ll1wuTHEk3
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) April 16, 2019
Embiid said that he wasn’t laughing because of the play, but the Nets clearly didn’t see it that way. Caris LeVert and Jared Dudley both spoke up on Wednesday about the incident and Embiid’s apology.
“We didn’t really like that. We thought that was kind of disrespectful, especially after the elbow he threw,” LeVert said to Ian Begley of ESPN. “It is what it is. There’s no love lost. It’s a playoff series. We expect that.”
Although the Nets are probably more upset with Embiid than they are letting on, they won’t let this distract them. Dudley, the wily veteran who missed Game 2, clearly didn’t love the reaction from Embiid, but he’s keeping things in perspective.
“I felt a certain type of way for it just because you’re laughing and someone could have really gotten hurt,” Dudley said. “Now, luckily, Jay did pop up. That’s been Embiid’s personality, but just because it’s your personality doesn’t mean it’s right. So, for us, you can either get even however you want to do it, but the biggest thing for us to get even is winning Game 3.”
The Nets and Sixers will travel to Brooklyn on Thursday. This will be the first playoff game at Barclays Center since 2015.