Knicks Blast Joel Embiid Over ‘Dirty’ Flagrant Foul As Tensions Flare

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, NBA News
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Knicks expressed displeasure with a flagrant foul committed by Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid on center Mitchell Robinson during the first quarter of their 125-114 Game 3 loss. The Knicks labeled the incident “dirty,” relieved that Robinson escaped without a severe injury.

“It was dirty,” stated Knicks guard Donte DiVincenzo, emphasizing the seriousness of the foul. Knicks forward Josh Hart echoed this sentiment, recognizing the fine line between tough playoff fouls and those that risk significant injury. “It’s something that can put a guy out for a significant amount of time,” Hart noted.

The controversial moment occurred with 4:34 left in the first quarter. Embiid, after attempting to draw an offensive foul that wasn’t called, made contact with Robinson’s right leg as he fell. Robinson, already cautious due to a previous left ankle issue, worsened after the play and was sidelined post-halftime with a sprain.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks Updates

Officials reviewed the play to determine the severity of the foul, ultimately classifying it as a Flagrant 1. Crew chief Zach Zarba explained, “The crew was unanimous along with the replay center official in Secaucus that this foul was unnecessary but did not rise to the level of a flagrant 2,” thus Embiid remained in the game.

Embiid, discussing the incident, related it to a personal past experience where he was injured after a fall involving Jonathan Kuminga. “I didn’t mean to hurt anybody. I just…in those situations, I gotta protect myself,” Embiid explained, acknowledging the physical nature of the game and his need to respond in kind.

Another contentious moment involved Embiid earlier in the quarter, leading to an offensive foul after a collision with Isaiah Hartenstein. Hartenstein, commenting on the incident, downplayed its severity, attributing the discomfort to something on Embiid’s knee brace rather than a deliberate act.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers, New York Knicks Updates

Despite these incidents, Embiid’s overall performance was undeniably impactful, scoring a playoff career-high 50 points. The Knicks now face uncertainty regarding Robinson’s availability for future games, a concern as they attempt to contain Embiid’s dominant presence on the court.

As the series progresses, the Knicks and 76ers are set to continue their intense matchup, with physical play possibly defining the tone of upcoming games.

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