Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid got into it with Brooklyn Nets‘ Nic Claxton early on in Game 3 of the 2023 NBA Playoffs. Claxton dunked on Embiid and stepped over him, causing Embiid to kick his leg upwards at the Nets forward. The referees convened and ultimately called a Technical Foul on Claxton and a Flagrant 1 on Embiid. After the call, Twitter was sent into a frenzy due to belief Embiid should have been ejected like Draymond Green was.
UPDATE: Technical foul on Nic Claxton for stepping on Joel Embiid, Flagrant 1 foul on Embiid.
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) April 20, 2023
Outrageous. It’s a clear flagrant 2.
— Mario Peña (@Mpena_As) April 20, 2023
Here we go…
Then comparison of this to Draymond and Sabonis about to start
Got my popcorn ready pic.twitter.com/tijypb0aS0
— black (@black666_____) April 20, 2023
He literally tried to purposely hit another guy in the groin….how is he not ejected???!!!
— Mandy+x+•Till We Meet Again Moonbin (@mandy_gyu17) April 20, 2023
The discourse is valid, as Draymond Green looked to be ejected for a very similar act. Green cannot be happy that he was not only ejected but also suspended for Game 3 of the Golden State Warriors series, while Embiid is not missing any time as of now.
Many on Twitter are attributing the lesser punishment on Embiid to his NBA MVP campaign. Twitter is seeing claims of the NBA protecting Embiid in case he is the MVP, as they wouldn’t want the most valuable player to be missing time in the national spotlight.
It is an interesting argument, as although Green is not the offensive threat that Embiid is, he certainly is a polarizing figure for the NBA. Not only does he most likely do well for NBA ratings, but Green plays for the Warriors, arguably the most popular team in the league over the last decade.
Nevertheless, a decision was made, and Joel Embiid was only assessed a Flagrant 1 for wielding his leg as a weapon. It will be interesting to see if any further punishment comes down on the 76ers big man after Game 3 comes to a close.
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