RUMOR: There’s nothing personal between Joel Embiid, Karl-Anthony Towns
The NBA doled out a pair of suspension on Thursday, giving Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Philadelphia 76ers big man Joel Embiid a two-game ban after their roles in a scuffle that took place on Wednesday night. Many wondered about the light repercussions of this incident, considering the involvement of several players, coaches, and officials to break it off and the consequent ejections of both 7-footers.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the league didn’t deem there to be any ulterior motive in the kerfuffle between the two centers, claiming there is no history of prior beef between the two.
Things did get physical between the two, however, with Towns throwing down a haymaker that Embiid managed to avoid. Embiid even managed to put his giant thumb into Towns’ face, nearly gouging his right eye in the process.
Other players, coaches, and officials were needed to settle them down as a result of the melee, and a sanction this early in the season is likely to set the tone for what to expect for the rest of 2019-20.
Some might argue that Towns and Embiid got away with some light punishment, but the league seems to have acted in a way to dissipate the issue between two of the game’s most formidable big men and let it all wash away.
Embiid won’t see Towns until Mar. 24, when his Sixers will go to Minnesota for the back end of their two meetings this season.