NBA fines 76ers for failing to include Joel Embiid on injury report in ‘accurate and timely manner’

The NBA fined the Philadelphia 76ers $75,000 for failing to include Joel Embiid on their injury report “in an accurate and timely manner” before the team’s game against the Denver Nuggets on Saturday.

Embiid, who wasn’t on the injury report before the game, was scratched less than 30 minutes before tipoff because of knee soreness. The 76ers did not violate the NBA’s player participation policy, as Embiid’s absence was confirmed due to injury, the league said.

Embiid went on to miss Monday’s game against the Portland Trail Blazers. On Tuesday, the 76ers star left a game against the Golden State Warriors because of a left knee injury — and he won’t play Thursday against the Utah Jazz.

The NBA considered Philadelphia’s history of fines for violating injury-reporting rules. The 76ers have been fined twice in the past three years; in 2021, they omitted Ben Simmons from the final injury report before a Jan. 9 game against the Nuggets, and in 2022, they failed to accurately and promptly disclose Embiid’s status before Game 3 of the conference semifinals against the Miami Heat.

Additionally, the New Orleans Pelicans were fined $25,000 on Thursday for not including Trey Murphy III on the team’s injury report Saturday.

The Brooklyn Nets are the only team so far this season to be fined for violating the player participation policy, when they sat four players on Dec. 27 in a loss against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Why the fine wasn’t surprising

Embiid missed a highly anticipated, nationally televised game against a top player in the league — Denver’s Nikola Jokić — with no warning that he was injured. In this age of ubiquitous reporting and gambling, that’s just a big red flashing no.

If there was any solace for Embiid and the 76ers, it was that the NBA found that he was legitimately injured. Of course, few doubted his injury. Embiid missed the 76ers’ following game and clearly didn’t look the same the next time he played, against Golden State. If there’s one lesson to take from this, it’s that it’s better to be safe than sorry to be fined.

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(Photo: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images)

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