Joel Embiid made his on-court return for the Sixers’ Game 3 first-round series matchup against the Heat. It was Embiid’s first game since March 28, when he suffered an orbital fracture in his left eye and a concussion. To prevent further injury, Embiid sported a league-approved protective mask, which involved a lot of effort to construct, ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne details.
A battery of tests was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania to make sure the mask would protect Embiid’s injured face. Shelburne writes that a “group of independent doctors from the league spent the past 10 days agonizing” about the mask and its safety. Embiid’s agent even reached out to retired NBA champion Richard Hamilton, who was famous for wearing a mask during his career.
“They [the Sixers] did everything possible,” Embiid said. “They were like throwing stuff at it to make sure it could withstand it.”
Check out more notes from the Atlantic Division:
- By their own admission, Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan have gone from not speaking to being the closest of the friends. As the Raptors hold a 2-1 series lead over the Wizards, the only goal their goal is to bring a championship to Canada, the duo said to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an in-depth interview.
- The Knicks have received some heat for passing on Donovan Mitchell in last year’s draft. Former Knick David Lee recalled Mitchell attending his annual camp in Chappaqua, New York, Marc Berman of the New York Post writes.
- Joe Tsai agreed to buy a 49% stake in the Nets and while he has yet to publicly comment since the purchase, the expectation is he will try to take the organization global, Brian Lewis of the New York Post writes. “Mikhail [Prokhorov] and Joe are both committed owners and they’ll be hands-on to a certain extent,” general manager Sean Marks said. “The fact that Joe saw something that he liked in Brooklyn, saw something that he liked with the Nets organization, I think there’ll be a great partnership between the two.”