76ers' Joel Embiid Fined $25K for Flipping off Kevin Huerter, Cursing on Live TV

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2020

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid reacts during an NBA basketball game against the Atlanta Hawks, Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The NBA fined Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid $25,000 for making an obscene gesture toward Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter and cursing on live television.

Embiid flipped Huerter off late in the fourth quarter of Monday's 129-112 win over the Hawks after Huerter stole the ball from him as he attempted to run out the clock. 

"I also want to say sorry for what I did at the end of the game," Embiid told NBC Sports Philadelphia's Serena Winters in a live on-court interview. "Y'all probably saw that on TV, I am sorry."

Embiid had 49 points and 14 rebounds in a dominant all-around performance as the Sixers rallied without Ben Simmons. Earlier in the interview, Winters asked him whether he considers himself the best player in the world—at which point Embiid got a little profane.

"F--k it, my bad, I do believe it. When I play like tonight, anything can happen," Embiid said.

Embiid was previously fined $10,000 in 2017 when he said "f--k LaVar Ball" on social media. The NBA typically frowns upon players using curse words in public settings, though they are discretionary in levying fines. It's likely the combination of Embiid flipping Huerter off (typically a sure fine) along with him immediately following it up with an f-bomb on live TV that led to the $25,000 hit.

The All-Star center appears unlikely to stop with his boisterous comments, though. He has been increasingly confident in public, perhaps as a motivating device in the midst of a frustrating Sixers season. If thinking he's the best player alive can result in more 49-14 outputs, odds are Embiid will deal with the occasional $25,000 fine. 

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