amir johnson

Sixers address situation involving Amir Johnson's cell phone usage on bench

Sixers address situation involving Amir Johnson's cell phone usage on bench

On an incredibly frustrating day, the last thing the Sixers needed was drama away from the court.

With his team getting handled by the Brooklyn Nets with 6:34 left in the fourth quarter, veteran center Amir Johnson was caught by ESPN cameras checking his cell phone. Joel Embiid was sitting next to Johnson and looked down at Johnson’s phone as well.

The optics certainly weren’t great as the Sixers went on to lose to the Nets, 111-102 (see observations), to go down 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.

It’s not a good look for a team with championship aspirations while being down double-digits in Game 1 of the first round.

“My thought is — I learned this walking to this room — first, it’s completely unacceptable,” Brett Brown said. “Second, we will deal with it internally very soon. I can’t comment on [a possible suspension], I only learned it walking down the hallway. I stay with those two points. 

“It is not something that we are about and I really don’t even know — I think all of us should just learn a little bit more about it than maybe certainly I do. But on first glance, it is not something that we are and certainly don’t condone and the club will deal with it.”

Brown apparently might have been on to something.

Speaking to reporters postgame, Embiid explained his actions.

“It never happens,” Embiid said when asked if it’s something that happens often. “Obviously, I wasn’t on my phone. I just looked down because he said that his daughter was extremely sick and he was checking on her. He was checking on his daughter. She’s sick.”

If Johnson’s daughter is sick, that does change the narrative a bit. Still, having cell phones on the bench during a game is against NBA rules. 

Both Johnson and general manager Elton Brand issued statements through the team following the game.

“I apologize for having my phone on the bench in today’s game,” Johnson said in his statement. “I take full responsibility and will accept the consequences of my actions. I also apologize to my teammates, the 76ers organization and the fans for the distraction this has caused.”

“The 76ers organization has fined Amir Johnson for conduct detrimental to the team,” Brand’s statement read. “I have addressed the matter with Amir directly and he understands why his actions were unacceptable. We are moving forward together with our full focus now on Game 2.”

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From moms to sisters to Serena Williams, Sixers share their female inspirations

From moms to sisters to Serena Williams, Sixers share their female inspirations

In light of Women’s History Month, we take a look at some of the female inspirations behind the Sixers. Here’s what they said.

Jimmy Butler
I’m going with Serena (Williams). Absolutely incredible. The fact that she can be so dominant, and have a child, come back and still be dominant. That is dope, amazing to me. And everyone knows who Serena is. It’s special. I witnessed it after The French Open, once. You’re talking about a fierce competitor who gives her all.

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‪Honored. Joyful. Happy. Determined.‬

A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

Joel Embiid
My mom for sure. The way she raised us, everything she put us through. How resilient she’s been, because I lost my brother four years ago and it still bothers her a lot but she keeps pushing me, she keeps supporting me and my sister, so I really appreciate her resiliency.

Ben Simmons
My mom and my sister. My mom because she raised all of us, and that’s not easy having six kids. And also my sister, she just had Savannah, her daughter, and she is still dealing with the problems now, and just looking at her, and she’s been strong for her, putting all of her problems aside … When you bring another life into the world, you look at things differently and you give up a lot more, and she has given up a lot.

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Big sis @livvsimmons

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JJ Redick
My mom. She homeschooled her kids, she then became a working mom. She raised us all to be extremely competitive and have a good value system, and she has always been an incredible woman and one of my heroes.

Tobias Harris
My sister. Her hard work and being the first person in my family to get a basketball scholarship, and how inspiring she was for me and my brothers and sisters to work as hard as you can.

Boban Marjanovic
My mom and my wife. And my grandma and my sister. My life is better (because of them). They have a special place in my heart to make you fight for everything.

Mike Scott
Serena (Williams), accomplished a lot. Had a child, came back, killed the game. Best tennis player ever.

Justin Patton
My mom. She raised two twin boys and a girl by herself. Women have a hard job trying to understand men, and also having to understand themselves and how to keep themselves happy and motivate themselves, so it was unique to see her do all of that and still be a great person at the same time.

Amir Johnson
My mother. Keeping me out of trouble, teaching me wrong from right and giving me life, and my sister, showing how hard you have to work to raise a family. My sister, one of the reasons I got into sports, was because she played ball first, and I did that, and she ran track. I kind of copied everything my sister did. We got some strong women in life — same with my grandmother, always teaching me to be humble, and that’s how I pretty much go about my life today, always stay humble.

T.J. McConnell
My wife. She inspires me to be a better person and basketball player every day. And my mom, she texts me every day to ask me how I’m doing. 

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Bulls 108, Sixers 107: Inexplicable late mistakes cost Sixers

Bulls 108, Sixers 107: Inexplicable late mistakes cost Sixers

BOX SCORE 

On the road, on the second night of a back-to-back, and without Joel Embiid, the Sixers have a few good excuses. That said, Wednesday night’s 108-107 loss to the Bulls is difficult to accept.

Mike Scott and Jimmy Butler blew their coverage of a dribble handoff between Robin Lopez and Zach LaVine on the Bulls' final offensive possession, with both players taking Lopez and leaving LaVine free for an and-one layup with 1.6 seconds remaining. It was an inexplicable mistake, especially given LaVine had a game-high 39 points. 

The game had a bizarre ending, as the officials determined the clock started early on the Sixers’ final play with 0.5 seconds to go, allowing the Sixers another attempt to win. The Sixers didn’t manage to get a shot off on either play.

The loss drops the Sixers to 41-24 and 4-3 since the All-Star break without Embiid.  

• Up 10 in the fourth, the Sixers let the Bulls get right back into the game with a 10-0 run. The team’s sloppy late execution was disappointing. This was a game the Sixers had so many chances to win, and their carelessness with the ball late in the fourth quarter is one of the biggest reasons why they were unable to capitalize on any of those opportunities. 

• Back on his old stomping grounds, Butler (22 points) didn’t wait until the fourth quarter to turn it on against the Bulls. He shot 3 for 3 in the first three minutes, lifting the Sixers to a 12-4 lead with a pretty backdoor cut and dunk off a feed from Ben Simmons. 

With Butler at the point, the Sixers had T.J. McConnell screen for Butler on several occasions to force the defense to switch and get Butler an advantageous matchup against a smaller defender — in this case, Ryan Arcidiacono. It’s a tactic the Sixers have started using with greater frequency, and a simple, effective look they can go to moving forward when Butler is at the one. 

• For the second straight night, Amir Johnson got the start. Even with Jonah Bolden back after missing Tuesday’s game with sinusitis, the decision to keep Johnson in the starting five made sense. He earned it with his performance against the Magic, posting a season-high 13 points, and Lopez is about as close as you can get to an ideal matchup for Johnson.

Johnson had nine points and eight rebounds in 20 minutes. 

Though Bolden was impressively agile as usual when switched onto perimeter players, he struggled with Lopez’s strength inside and picked up his fifth foul less than a minute into the fourth quarter.

Lopez had 19 points, 13 in the first quarter. 

• One action Simmons (18 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists) and the Sixers have gone to more recently is the quick dribble handoff in semi-transition. While it’s obviously most dangerous when JJ Redick is involved, Simmons himself puts so much pressure on the defense with how fast he gets the ball up the floor, forcing the defense to have sharp communication. 

His fake dribble handoff to McConnell on this play in the second quarter was masterful.

• Well, Tobias Harris was due for a clunker, and after a two-point first half, he seemed to be having one.

But Harris picked it up in the third quarter, scoring nine points in the period. He just has too polished and balanced an offensive game to be held down forever.

In the final quarter, Harris was a non-factor. He finished with 13 points on the night as his streak of 20-plus point games ended at seven. 

• Following two straight games on the bench, James Ennis played over Jonathon Simmons. Ennis blended into the background for most of his first stint … and then he did this. 

Ennis had his best game as a Sixer, posting 11 points on 5 for 7 shooting and seven rebounds. The “quiet tournament” Brett Brown is holding for minutes between Ennis and Simmons is nowhere near decided. 

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