Joel Embiid caught looking at phone on bench during 76ers playoff loss

It was a rough afternoon for the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday, and Joel Embiid didn’t make things any easier.

The 76ers struggled at the Wells Fargo Center and fell to the Brooklyn Nets, 112-102, in the first game of their opening-round playoff series. The Nets dominated throughout the matchup, too, holding double-digit leads at multiple points during the contest.

Embiid — who was made available just before the game after battling with a knee injury — didn’t seem fully invested in the game, either.

With Philadelphia down by double digits, Embiid was caught on a replay looking at backup center Amir Johnson’s phone while the two were sitting on the bench.

It appears as if Embiid and Johnson were looking at a text message, though it’s hard to tell exactly what they were looking at from the angle shown on the broadcast. Either way, that’s a terrible look for any player sitting on the bench during a game — especially a playoff game.

ESPN analyst Doris Burke laid into the duo on air, too.

“This is really troublesome to me,” Burke said during the broadcast. “Amir Johnson is not active, but he is on the bench. That’s a cell phone. And I can’t definitively say, but all of us know what a text message looks like. What is that thing doing out, to me ... [Embiid is] smiling. Like, you’re down. That is a very bad look.”

Shortly after that replay was broadcasted, Johnson was seen headed to the locker room.

The 76ers fined Johnson after the game for “conduct detrimental to the team,” according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. Using a phone on the bench during a game is a violation of NBA rules, which can result in fines and suspensions.

Philadelphia coach Brett Brown said he first learned of the incident after the game when walking down the arena hallway.

“It’s completely unacceptable, and second, we will deal with it internally I’m sure very soon,” Brown said. “It is not something that we are about — and I really don’t even know. I think all of us should learn a little bit more than maybe I do, but on first glance, it is not something that we are and certainly don’t condone, and the club will deal with it.”

According to Embiid, however, Johnson was checking his phone for an update on his sick daughter.

Johnson apologized for using his phone after the game.

“I take full responsibility and will accept the consequences of my actions,” Johnson said in a statement, via The Athletic. “I also apologize to my teammates, the 76ers organization and the fans for the distraction this caused.”

Embiid finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds in the loss, but shot just 5-of-13 from the field. Jimmy Butler led the 76ers with 36 points, and Boban Marjanovic added 13 points.

D’Angelo Russell led the Nets with 26 points, shooting 10-of-25 from the field. Caris LeVert added 23 points from the bench, and Joe Harris finished with 13.

Game 2 of the playoff series is scheduled for Monday night.

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Joel Embiid through his career
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Joel Embiid through his career
Kansas' Joel Embiid reacts to the crowd after his dunk forced a Towson timeout in the second half at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Ks., Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. Kansas defeated Towson, 88-58. (Rich Sugg/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images)
AMES, IA - JANUARY 13: Center Joel Embiid #21 of the Kansas Jayhawks adjusts his glasses during the second half against the Iowa State Cyclones on January 13, 2014 at Hilton Coliseum, in Ames, Iowa. (Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MAY 8: NBA Draft prospect Joel Embiid behind the scenes on May 8, 2014 at Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, California. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images)
TARRYTOWN, NY - AUGUST 3: Joel Embiid #11 of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a portrait during the 2014 NBA rookie photo shoot on August 3, 2014 at the Madison Square Garden Training Facility in Tarrytown, New York. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Brian Babineau /NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 06: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers plays against the Washington Wizards at Wells Fargo Center on October 6, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Wizards defeated the 76ers 125-119 in double overtime. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 15: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on prior to the game against the Detroit Pistons at Wells Fargo Center on October 15, 2016 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 26: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Wells Fargo Center on October 26, 2016 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. The Thunder defeated the 76ers 103-97. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 1: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Orlando Magic at Wells Fargo Center on November 1, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Magic defeated the 76ers 103-101. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA,PA - NOVEMBER 7: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers goes up for the short shot against the Utah Jazz during a game at the Wells Fargo Center on November 7, 2016 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 11: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers is fouled by C.J. Miles #0 of the Indiana Pacers with Paul George #13 of the Indiana Pacers looking on from behind and Sergio Rodriguez #14 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacting at the Wells Fargo Center on November 11, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The following free throws cemented the game and Philadelphia won 109-105 in overtime. 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 Agreement. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA,PA - NOVEMBER 23: A close up shot of Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers during the game against the Memphis Grizzlies at Wells Fargo Center on November 23, 2016 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 3: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on prior to the game against the Boston Celtics at Wells Fargo Center on December 3, 2016 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 16: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers attempts a lay up against Timofey Mozgov #20 of the Los Angeles Lakers in the first quarter at Wells Fargo Center on December 16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Lakers defeated the 76ers 100-89. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 3: Karl-Anthony Towns #32 of the Minnesota Timberwolves boxes out Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers after a foul shot in the first quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 3, 2017 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 3: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Wells Fargo Center on January 3, 2017 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - JANUARY 16: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers shoots a free throw during a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at BMO Harris Bradley Center on January 16, 2017 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 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 Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 20: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers congratulates Robert Covington #33 of the Philadelphia 76ers for hitting the game-winning basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on January 20, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Philadelphia 76ers won 93-92. 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 Corey Perrine/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 16: Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers poses for a photo during the 2017 All-Star Media Circuit at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans, LA. 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. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
CAMDEN, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers jokes around during the Philadelphia 76ers Media Day on September 25, 2017 at the Philadelphia 76ers Training Complex in Camden, New Jersey.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 Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 13: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives toward the basket as Kelly Olynyk #9 of the Miami Heat of the Miami Heat defends during the game at Sprint Center on October 13, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 3: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers warms up prior to the game against the Indiana Pacers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 3, 2017 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - NOVEMBER 11: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the game against Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors on November 11, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. 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 Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 15: Comedian Kevin Hart walks into Joel Embiid's #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers post game television interview to congratulate him for scoring career high 46-point against Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center November 15, 2017, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork S. Djansezian)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 18: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers runs up the court against the Golden State Warriors at the Wells Fargo Center on November 18, 2017 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 25: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers reacts against the Orlando Magic at the Wells Fargo Center on November 25, 2017 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers dunks the ball against Channing Frye #8 of the Cleveland Cavaliers in the second quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on November 27, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Cavaliers defeated the 76ers 113-91. 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 29: A fan takes a video of Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers warming up prior to the game against the Washington Wizards at the Wells Fargo Center on November 29, 2017 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 Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Philadelphia Sixers Joel Embiid attends 2017 Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards at Barclays Center on December 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 7: Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on against the Los Angeles Lakers at Wells Fargo Center on December 7, 2017 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 Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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