Joel Embiid: LeBron James Should've Been Ejected for 'Very Dangerous' Foul

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIJanuary 28, 2021

Philadelphia 76ers' Joel Embiid lays on the court during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Boston Celtics, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Philadelphia. The 76ers won 122-110. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)
Chris Szagola/Associated Press

Joel Embiid called the play dangerous. His head coach, Doc Rivers, thought it was just a hard foul.

Either way, the Philadelphia 76ers center isn't feeling too great after a shove from LeBron James left him momentarily writhing in pain during his team's 107-106 victory on Wednesday. 

John Clark @JClarkNBCS

Joel Embiid on LeBron James flagrant foul “That was a very dangerous play. I guarantee if it was me I would have been thrown out of the game” Joel is hoping back is ok https://t.co/dhP3GjJS9D

Speaking after the win, Rivers said James is not a dirty player. But Embiid believes had the roles been reversed, he would've been ejected. 

In his postgame press conference, he called out the referees for the perceived double standard. 

The two teams combined for four technical fouls and two flagrants. Embiid got called for a flagrant in the third quarter when his elbow made contact with Anthony Davis' face on a drive to the rim. 

To Rivers, they were basketball plays. The refs saw otherwise. So did Embiid. 

As the Sixers big man continues his MVP-caliber campaign (28 points, six rebounds, four assists against L.A) he was forced to play through double-teams from the likes of James, Davis, Marc Gasol and Montrezl Harrell. 

All of it made for a particularly bruising game in general, which seemed to wear down both teams equally. 

Los Angeles (14-5) was able to mount a furious comeback after trailing by 14 late as the Lakers attempted to keep their road unbeaten streak alive. 

A mid-range jumper from Tobias Harris with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation ensured the road winning streak would end at 10. 

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As for Embiid, the long-term effects of James' foul remain to be seen. He was able to stay in the game, but he appeared to be in pain at different points. Any lingering issues will hamper the Sixers (13-6) until he's fully healthy again.