Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid, an NBA MVP candidate so far this season, wasn’t happy with the way Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James fouled him during a game between the teams on Wednesday night.
During the middle of the third quarter, Embiid drove to the hoop and attempted a dunk after making his way past Lakers center Marc Gasol. James stepped up and shoved Embiid with two hands, making him fall hard to the ground and grimace in pain.
James was tagged with a flagrant one foul call, and Embiid was able to stay in the game, but afterward, Embiid voiced his displeasure.
“First of all, I mean, you look at it, that’s a very dangerous play,” Embiid said via ESPN. “I guarantee you that if it was me, I would have probably been ejected from the game, which has happened in the past with me getting flagrant fouls really for nothing.”
One minute later, Embiid was also tagged with a flagrant one foul when he elbowed Lakers power forward Anthony Davis. Embiid didn’t seem to agree with the call, especially after how hard he fouled by James.
“When you compare that to the one that I got, which I thought I didn’t really hit him, I didn’t elbow him,” he said. “I might have touched him, but I don’t think it deserved the flagrant, if you’re gonna compare those two.”
Embiid finished with 28 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two blocks for the Sixers in a 107-106 victory over the defending NBA champions. His performance further cemented his chances at vying for the NBA MVP and proved that Philadelphia is a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference.