Joel Embiid Says He Checked Cellphone Because Amir Johnson's Daughter Was Sick

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IApril 13, 2019

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 13: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up before the game against the Brooklyn Nets during Game One of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoff at Wells Fargo Center on April 13, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

Philadelphia 76ers teammates Amir Johnson and Joel Embiid instantaneously became the butt of jokes across Twitter on Saturday afternoon when cameras caught them looking down at Johnson's phone on the sideline during the Sixers' 111-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

However, Embiid explained in his postgame press conference why the two were checking text messages during a playoff game: 

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

Embiid says Amir Johnson was using his phone to check on his daughter who is "extremely sick.” (via @BenGolliver) https://t.co/oluAUKTk3a

ESPN @espn

Not the start to the playoffs the 76ers were looking for. https://t.co/00hYolRdaJ

Johnson was inactive for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series and headed to the team's locker room soon after he was spotted looking at his phone.

Embiid played through a knee injury, scoring 22 points and grabbing 15 boards in 24 minutes on the floor.

But his performance and guard Jimmy Butler's game-high 36 points were not enough to propel Philly over Brooklyn, who dominated on the Sixers' home floor.

The fallout from such a poor loss is certainly concerning for the team as a whole. Meanwhile, Johnson and Embiid may very well be disciplined for violating rules laid out in the NBA Operations Manual, according to ESPN's Bobby Marks.