NBA: Sixers fined $50,000 for violating rules in Embiid’s return

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - The 76ers were fined by the NBA for violating the league’s injury reporting rules in their handling of MVP finalist Joel Embiid’s return from an orbital fracture and concussion for Friday’s 99-79 win over the Miami Heat in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Sixers center Joel Embiid wears a protective mask during warm-ups before game three of the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat.
Sixers center Joel Embiid wears a protective mask during warm-ups before game three of the second round of the 2022 NBA playoffs against the Miami Heat.  © REUTERS

The league said the Sixers "failed to disclose [Embiid’s] participation status in an accurate and timely manner" prior to the game.

Embiid was initially listed as out for Friday’s game on Thursday evening’s official injury report. Following Friday’s shootaround, the Sixers informed the media that Embiid had cleared concussion protocols and had participated in shootaround, but that he was still listed as out for the game.

About an hour later, Embiid was upgraded to doubtful. Coach Doc Rivers then said during his pregame press conference that Embiid’s status would be determined following his pregame warm-up – the typical routine when Embiid is listed on an injury report – before he was upgraded to available to play minutes after he left the floor.

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Embiid totaled 18 points and 11 rebounds while wearing a mask to protect his face during the Sixers’ victory. After the game, Rivers said, "I felt like he was gonna play [Friday] morning, but I didn’t know. But I felt like it."

"He did our whole walk-through, which, again, we didn’t do a lot," Rivers added. "He didn’t take a lot of shots, which made me start getting a little concerned. ... But by mid-afternoon, I was pretty positive [he would play]."

Embiid is listed as questionable to play in Sunday’s Game 4 with the orbital fracture and a thumb sprain. He tore a ligament in his right thumb in Game 3 of the Sixers’ first-round series against the Toronto Raptors.

The Phoenix Suns received a similar fine of $25,000 in the playoffs’ first round for their reporting of All-Star guard Devin Booker’s hamstring injury before he returned to play for Game 6 of their series win against the New Orleans Pelicans.

Cover photo: REUTERS

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