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Doc Rivers pokes fun at Sixers’ cellphone incident before game vs. Warriors

Doc Rivers

Some league followers are gleaning enjoyment from the Philadelphia 76ers’ cell phone incident rather than outrage. It’s safe to say we can count Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers among them. Before his team’s series-opening game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday, Rivers poked fun at Amir Johnson and Joel Embiid for looking at text messages on the bench, telling reporters to put their phones away to begin his press conference.

Midway through the fourth quarter of their team’s game against the underdog Brooklyn Nets, with the Sixers down 16 points, the television broadcast showed a replay of Johnson and Embiid looking at texts on the former’s phone — not just a violation of NBA rules, but an action that seemed to convey their lack of concern over what was transpiring on the floor.

Johnson, who was inactive for Game 1, was subsequently fined by Philadelphia for conduct detrimental to the team.

“I take full responsibility & will accept the consequences of my actions,” the 14-year veteran said in a statement. “I also apologize to my teammates, the 76ers organization & the fans for the distraction this has caused.”

Embiid, meanwhile, defended both himself and Johnson on the post-game podium. The Sixers superstar said that Johnson had his phone on the bench because his daughter is “extremely sick,” and that Embiid merely looked down at the screen.

Brett Brown, meanwhile, said the actions of Johnson and Embiid were “completely unacceptable,” though admitted he was unaware of any specifics regarding the incident having just learned of it en route to his post-game presser.