76ers center Joel Embiid believes Lakers forward LeBron James got some preferential treatment Wednesday night.
With just under six minutes left in the third quarter of Philadelphia’s 107-106 win over Los Angeles, Embiid caught a pass in the post and quickly turned to attack the rim. James rotated late toward Embiid, and when Embiid left the floor for a dunk attempt, James gave him a two-hand shove to the midsection.
“First of all, I mean, you look at it, that’s a very dangerous play,” Embiid said after the game. “I guarantee you that if it was me, I would have probably been ejected from the game, which has happened in the past with me getting flagrant fouls really for nothing.”
Embiid was also frustrated because he got hit with his own flagrant 1 about a minute later. The three-time All-Star tried a rip-through move against Anthony Davis and drilled him in the face with an elbow.
“I didn’t really hit [Davis]. I didn’t elbow him,” Embiid said. “I might have touched him, but I don’t think it deserved the flagrant, if you’re gonna compare those two. Those are tough plays, and I just thought, you know, it should’ve been a flagrant 2 [on James].”
Sixers coach Doc Rivers disagreed with both calls and told reporters that James is “not a dirty player.”
When asked about LeBron James’ foul on Joel Embiid, Doc Rivers says LeBron James is not a dirty player, and indicates he thinks all of the flagrant foul calls tonight were excessive. Said Embiid wasn’t the same after taking the hard fall on the play, though.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 28, 2021
Despite the hard fall, Embiid was able to continue playing, finishing with 28 points, six rebounds, four assists and two blocks in the victory. Embiid previously missed Monday’s game against the Pistons with back tightness, but he didn’t sound too concerned about his status moving forward.
“Hopefully, it’s fine,” Embiid said. “The test will be when I wake up in the morning, see how it feels. I’m glad I pushed through, and I’m glad we got the win.”