Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns were clearly at the center of Wednesday night's scuffle at the Wells Fargo Center between the Sixers and Minnesota Timberwolves.
The referees deemed the scuffle a fight and both players were ejected and face a possible suspension from the league as an investigation is now underway.
Ben Simmons was seen getting into the middle of the mayhem and wound up on top of Towns at one point with his arm around the Timberwolves' big man's neck. After the game, refs said Simmons was "deemed a peacemaker" and therefore not ejected.
According to sources of ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves disagree with that assessment.
Referee Mark Ayotte told a pool reporter Wednesday night that Simmons was "deemed a peacemaker" for an act that included him holding Towns to the floor in what the Timberwolves contend was a "dangerous choke hold," league sources told ESPN.
Towns downplayed the scuffle in his postgame comments whereas Embiid seemed to revel in the spotlight of the fight, in his revving up the crowd walking off the court after his ejection, in his postgame comments to the media, and his demeanor on social media following the game.
You have to wonder if league officials will take note of all of that in addition to what actually took place on the basketball court.
With the Sixers traveling to Portland with a big game against the Trail Blazers on Saturday night and the reality that they could be without Embiid, do they have to start worrying about the potential of being without Simmons as well? It depends what conclusions the NBA comes to in the coming days.
Woj also reports that the Sixers have "doubled-down" on the belief that Simmons was acting as a peacemaker and that KAT was the "aggressor" in the incident.
More coming as this story devlops over the next few days.
Sources: Sixers and Brand are communicating to the NBA that they believe KAT was the aggressor in the scuffle with Joel Embiid. Also, they've "doubled-down" on referee assessment that Simmons was peacemaker --- and delivered that message to league office too. https://t.co/JOdGrWgeiC— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 31, 2019
So Kiki VanDeWeghe and the league office now has the responsibility of examining video replays of the Sixers-Timberwolves scuffle, conduct interviews with players, refs, team officials and ultimately come to a decision on meting out punishment.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) October 31, 2019
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