The Philadelphia 76ers eked out a 107-106 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. The game was not without controversy.
With just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter, Sixers center Joel Embiid got the ball down low and prepared to go for an easy slam. Just as he was rising up, Lakers star LeBron James stepped in and fouled him.
The foul sent Embiid tumbling to the floor and left him writhing in pain.
James was ultimately called for a flagrant 1 and Embiid stayed in the game.
Joel Embiid was visibly in pain and went down hard on his back after being fouled.
LeBron was called for a flagrant 1 and Embiid stayed in the game. pic.twitter.com/LSOVsgVy5f
— ESPN (@espn) January 28, 2021
After the fact, Embiid took issue with James’ foul. He suggested that had he been the one to commit an act like that, he would have been booted from the game.
“That’s a very dangerous play,” Embiid said, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic. “I guarantee if that was me I would have probably been ejected from the game.”
An NFL player demanded that his GF bow to him. When she didn’t, he snapped. https://t.co/13JEh4tS5q
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 27, 2021
That said, the league has been a little slow to step in and actually do anything about it. There have been a handful of fines, but no real suspensions or legitimate punishments.
Karl-Anthony Towns’ reaction to Jordyn Woods’ Buss It video speaks for itself.
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 26, 2021
Based on that precedent, it’s hard to see a scenario where the powers that be step in and penalize James in any real capacity.
James ultimately finished Wednesday night with 34 points, six rebounds and six assists in the losing effort, while Embiid scored 28 points and pulled down six rebounds in the win.