Joel Embiid Slams Refs, Says He Was 'Hacked All Night' in 76ers' Game 6 Win

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJune 19, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) is defended by Atlanta Hawks center Clint Capela (15) as he goes in for a basket during the first half of Game 6 of an NBA basketball Eastern Conference semifinal series Friday, June 18, 2021, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
AP Photo/John Bazemore

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid expressed his displeasure with the officiating following his team's 104-99 road win in Game 6 of their Eastern Conference second-round playoff series against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

“I was hacked all night, and I don’t think I got to the free-throw line until the fourth quarter," Embiid said, according to the PhillyVoice's Kyle Neubeck. "I told them they had to call it both ways. We had a bunch of guys, whether it’s [point guard Ben Simmons] or [power forward Tobias Harris], who were in foul trouble…I just want it called both ways.”

Embiid also discussed his feelings on how the referees officiated Hawks point guard Trae Young, who went to the free-throw line 53 times (including 19 attempts on Wednesday) over the first five games of the series, per Derek Bodner of The Athletic:

"I just felt like it wasn't called both ways, especially because of the minimal contact that they get on their point guard. When it comes to us, we don't get the same thing. I just want it called both ways. If we're gonna call some, like nothing (contact) on their point guard, it should be the same way. They should call the same thing on me if I get touched."

Embiid only had four shots from the charity stripe, the first of which came with 7:07 remaining in the fourth quarter. Young shot five free throws. Philadelphia was called for 24 fouls and shot 23 free throws, while Atlanta committed 22 fouls and had 24 free-throw attempts.

Harris and Simmons were notably called for two personal fouls apiece in the first quarter, forcing them to the bench early.

Following Embiid's comments, Neubeck posited what might be next for the big man: "Big fella might be short a few dollars after this, but this is good politicking heading into a home Game 7. Vet move."

Game 7 will take place Sunday at 8 p.m. ET at the Wells Fargo Center. The winner will face either the Brooklyn Nets or the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Finals.


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