76ersâ€™ Johnson fined for cell phone use on bench, apologizes
Field Level Mediaon
The Philadelphia 76ers fined veteran center Amir Johnson an undisclosed amount on Saturday for showing teammate Joel Embiid his cell phone on the bench late in a 111-102 loss to the Brooklyn Nets in Game 1 of their playoff series.
TV cameras caught Johnson on the bench in the fourth quarter, when the 76ers were 16 points down and he was scrolling through his phone. After showing Embiid something on his phone, Johnson put it into the pocket of his warm-ups.
"I apologize for having my phone on the bench in today's game," Johnson said in a statement released hours after the game by the 76ers. "I take full responsibility and will accept the consequences of my actions. I also apologize to my teammates, the 76ers organization and the fans for the distraction this has caused."
"I just looked down because he said his daughter was extremely sick, and he was checking on her," Embiid said.
The use of cell phones on the bench is not permitted during NBA games. According to the NBA Operations Manual, under the "Use of Technology" section, violations will "result in substantial fines and/or suspensions."
Sixers general manager Elton Brand said the team has fined Johnson for detrimental conduct, but the amount was not disclosed.
"The 76ers organization has fined Amir Johnson for conduct detrimental to the team," Brand said in the same team statement. "I have addressed the matter with Amir directly and he understands why his actions were unacceptable. We are moving forward together with our full focus now on Game 2."
Johnson was inactive for Saturday's game, and Embiid, who was listed as doubtful, started and finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots in 24 minutes.
Game 2 of the first-round series is Monday night in Philadelphia.