Updated: 6:21 p.m.
CAMDEN, N.J. — We now know the fallout from the fight between Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns.
Both players were suspended for two games. The officials deemed Ben Simmons, who was holding Towns on the ground at the end of the scrum, a “peacemaker.”
Despite the league confirming that by not taking any disciplinary action against Simmons, a report surfaced that the Timberwolves disagreed with that notion.
After practice, Simmons was given the chance to respond to the allegations.
“I don't really have anything to say about it,” Simmons said. “My teammate and Karl went at it, I tried to grab them and separate them and get Karl to relax a little bit because I know Karl. People know me, they know I'm not that type of player so it is what it is.”
Simmons stands by the actions of himself and his teammates.
“As a team, we have each other's backs, no matter what, no matter what the situation is,” Simmons said. “We're always going to have each other's backs with whatever happens on the floor. But at the same time, we're a physical team. We're not coming out here trying to fight people but that at the same time, we're a physical team.”
There’s been an interesting array of reactions to the incident.
Embiid puffed his chest out in the postgame press conference and doubled down by going in on Towns on social media. (The whole saga after the game may have actually been more entertaining than the actual fight). Simmons said his team doesn’t want to fight but …
Then there was veteran Al Horford, who has a relationship with Towns because of their Dominican roots, acting as the doting father telling his kids, “I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.”
Tobias Harris went a different route. He tried to act like the whole thing never happened.
“Today's a new day,” Harris said.
Brett Brown was wisely looking to avoid adding to the list of penalties his team is likely to incur.
“I most definitely have thoughts,” Brown said. “I've been advised to keep them to myself and I'm aware of [the Timberwolves’ accusation of Simmons]. I understand what's going on.”
The one thing that seems to be a consensus is that the situation has been viewed a unifier. When one of their teammates was in trouble, the Sixers reacted and came to his defense.
This isn’t exactly what Brown had in mind when he first started throwing around terms like “bully ball” and “smash mouth” when talking about his strategy with his gargantuan roster.
But still, he was happy to see his guys show that “Philly edge” he so often brings up.
“Most definitely,” Brown said when asked if things like this bring a team together. “And as I had said, we intend on playing and feel that we do play the game in the spirits that it should be played. But this is Philadelphia and we play a certain way and playing sort of as a unit, as a team, covering each other is important in any case and I feel like some of that was achieved.”
The league ultimately declared him a “peacemaker” and not the perpetrator of a "dangerous chokehold." Either way, Simmons saw it as a bonding moment.
“We're close. We're brothers,” Simmons said. “I think that's huge for us, going to eventually playoffs and further down the track. I think right now where we're at is a great place and everyone's feeling comfortable and knows we all support each other.”
If a similar situation occurs, the Sixers won’t be looking for a fight.
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