On a day that was just ugly all around for the Philadelphia 76ers — a Game 1 loss at home to the Brooklyn Nets — the big story was Amir Johnson and Joel Embiid checking texts on a phone from the bench during the loss.
It was Johnson’s phone and Embiid said after the game they were checking texts to see what was going on with his Johnson’s ill daughter. That, however, was not good enough for the Sixers, who reviewed the situation and fined Johnson for his actions. Shams Charania of The Athletic broke the news.
The league office could also take action, the fine by the team was, in part, a pre-emptive measure.
The Sixers would like to put this behind them and move on. The bigger challenge is the use of the phone on the bench perfectly symbolized a Sixers team that seemed to have its head elsewhere and was not ready for playoff basketball in Game 1.
Now there is a real pressure on the Sixers to win Game 2 and show that Saturday’s results were a fluke, and that Philly can handle adversity. We will find out about that Monday night.