Joel Embiid was listed as “out” just seven hours before his return to the court Friday night, wearing a mask to protect his fractured orbital bone. His presence alone helped lead the 76ers to a Game 3 win.
Saturday, the NBA fined the 76ers $50,000 for “violating league injury reporting rules.” From the NBA press release:
“The team failed to disclose center-forward Joel Embiid’s participation status in an accurate and timely manner prior to Game 3 of their conference semifinal playoff series vs. the Miami Heat on May 6 at Wells Fargo Center.”
Somewhere, the 76ers shrug.
Phoenix was also fined for a violation of league reporting rules concerning the return of Devin Booker. The Suns, however, only were fined $25,000. It will be interesting to hear from the NBA why one team should be fined more than the other.
As the NBA increasingly becomes partners with legalized gambling sites, the accurate and timely release of injury information will be increasingly important to the league (because it matters to gamblers). There will be more of these fines in the future, but at this point in the postseason teams will shrug them off.