6:35pm: The Sixers have fined Johnson for using his cell phone on the sidelines, tweets Shams Charania of The Athletic. “I apologize for having my phone on the bench in today’s game,” Johnson said in a statement tweeted by the team. “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.”
5:10pm: Today’s playoff loss to the Nets was punctuated by an embarrassing incident late in the game in which Sixers players Amir Johnson and Joel Embiid were caught looking at Johnson’s cell phone while on the bench. Coach Brett Brown criticized both players for their actions and promised the situation would be handled, tweets Ben Golliver of The Washington Post.
“It’s completely unacceptable and we will deal with it internally, very soon,” Brown said in his post-game press conference. “It’s not something we are and certainly don’t condone.”
Using a cell phone from the bench violates the NBA’s Operations Manual, points out ESPN’s Bobby Marks (Twitter link). Both players are facing substantial fines and possible suspensions. Johnson was inactive today, while Embiid, who has been bothered by knee pain, decided to play shortly before the game began.
Embiid explained that they were using the phone to get an update on the health of Johnson’s daughter (Twitter link). “I looked down because he said his daughter was extremely sick and he was checking on his daughter,” he told reporters.