NEW YORK — Joe Embiid knew it wasn’t a good look. After the Sixers’ 145-123 win Monday over the Brooklyn Nets, during the postgame interview, Embiid was asked about elbowing Jarrret Allen while making a spin move to the basket, bloodying his lip.
Embiid, who was at the podium with teammate Ben Simmons, explained he was sorry, then burst into laughter while saying it was unintentional.
Before Game 3 at the Barclays Center, Embiid, who didn’t play because of left knee soreness, explained why he was laughing.
“I was trying to be genuine and I was actually sorry about what I did, and I actually apologized to Jarrett, during the game,” Embiid said. “I kept asking if he was OK, that was not my intent, I don’t do that type of stuff."
Embiid said he laughed because Simmons cracked him up.
“I did apologize and it was unfortunate that I laughed, but it wasn’t because of it,” he said. “I laughed because my teammate made me laugh.”
Simmons apparently was surprised by Embiid’s humble tone.
“I guess it was surprising for him that I was being kind of humble, which I am humble. But when it comes to basketball, I like letting people know I can’t be stopped and that I am the most unstoppable player in the league. But other than that, like I say once again, I was extremely sorry about what happened and that is not what I meant to do.”
Embiid was given a Flagrant 1 foul, but he said that while the foul wasn’t intentional, the penalty should have been worse.
“I was just trying to make a basketball play, and sometimes you got to use your elbows to create separation, especially into the chest, but it was. I probably should have been ejected,” he said. “I saw the play and that was a bad play, and like I said, that is not the type of person I am.”
Simmons takes shot at Jared Dudley
Ben Simmons had to know that he would be asked about Nets reserve forward Jared Dudley’s calling him an “average” player in the half-court. That comment was all over social media Wednesday.
But the response by the 76ers point guard Thursday could go viral.
“That’s coming from Jared Dudley. Come on,” the 22-year-old said dismissively when a reporter asked his thoughts.
Dudley, 33, has started in 285 of 847 regular-season games through 12 NBA seasons. The San Diego native averaged 4.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 20.7 minutes in 56 appearances this season.
Spending 12 seasons in the NBA is a major accomplishment, and Dudley is a key contributor for the Nets. But he doesn’t come close to matching Simmons’ athleticism and upside.
The 2018 rookie of the year is one of the league’s top young stars. Because of his size and speed, opponents have to game-plan for him in transition.
Teams sag off him in the halfcourt, however, because of his reluctance to shoot from the perimeter.
“I think Ben Simmons is a great player in transition. Once you slow him up in the halfcourt, I think he’s average,” Dudley said Wednesday. “He’s a player that when he picks up speed he’s a load, so you have to [send] guys with him. It’s taking away his easy baskets.”
Dudley did a solid job of defending Simmons in Game 1 on Saturday. The Australian finished with nine points on 4-for-9 shooting in the Sixers’ 111-102 loss. However, he scored only two points in the 22 possessions on which Dudley guarded him.