Now both players are going to sit for a couple of games to think about it.
Embiid and Towns have each been suspended two games “without pay for their roles in an on-court altercation and for their continued escalation following the incident,” the league has announced.
There were no other fines or suspensions. Minnesota had pushed back on the idea Ben Simmons was a “peacemaker” as he eventually ended up on top of Towns and holding the Timberwolves star in a headlock. Simmons said he was simply trying to separate the pair.
“While we are disappointed with the league’s decision, we understand the magnitude of this unfortunate incident,” Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas said in a statement. “The NBA is highly competitive and last night was a reflection of that. We support Karl and will move forward together as a group.”
The incident came midway through the third quarter of the Sixers thumping of the Timberwolves Wednesday. Embiid came over to double Towns, they got tangled up and soon fists were flying.
Both players were ejected — so they carried the fight over to social media.
The social media fight got nastier from there, which essentially killed any chance of either player getting off with just a one-game suspension.
Being without Embiid for two games (at Portland and at Phoenix) hurts the Sixers — Philly has been 14.2 points per 100 possessions better this season with Embiid on the court — but they can slide Al Horford over to the center spot and not take a huge step backward.
No Towns is a bigger blow for the Timberwolves, who have relied heavily on him not only to score but in an expanded playmaking role this season. They will be without Towns at Washington then when the Timberwolves host the Bucks.