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Joel Embiid is Right and LeBron James Should Have Been Ejected

By Stephen Douglas
Joel Embiid after he landed on his back.
Joel Embiid after he landed on his back. / Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images
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Joel Embiid was fouled by LeBron James during the fourth quarter of Wednesday night's Philadelphia 76ers - Los Angeles Lakers game. Midway through the quarter Embiid went to the basket and was about to dunk on LeBron when LeBron extended his arms, knocking Embiid off-balance. Embiid fell awkwardly on his backside and could have been seriously hurt. LeBron was called for a flagrant one, but he probably should have been ejected.

Embiid said after the game that he believed it should have been a flagrant two foul. Embiid's coach, Doc Rivers, disagreed.

While I agree with Doc that LeBron isn't a dirty player (he's more... nefarious, like when he baited Draymond Green into punching him in the crotch in the Finals), this was a stupid play. If anyone ever caused LeBron to fall like that we would never hear the end of it. The offender would have been ejected immediately and the league would be reviewing the tape.

All players need to be protected in that situation and if it means telling LeBron he did something wrong on the court, that's the price. Embiid isn't LeBron, but he's a pretty big star. The 76ers have the best record in the Eastern Conference. Embiid is fourth in the NBA in scoring and eighth in rebounding. He's the face of a title contender.

Joel Embiid is absolutely correct that it was a flagrant two. Everyone involved is lucky Embiid was able to walk it off. The league needs to protect its players, no matter who they are, or who is involved.

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