Sixers 'a little bit' disappointed by Joel Embiid's dancing at Meek Mill concert

Sixers 'a little bit' disappointed by Joel Embiid's dancing at Meek Mill concert

Sixers president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo said before Saturday’s game against the Heat that it was “a little bit” disappointing that injured center Joel Embiid elected to hop onstage and dance at Friday’s Meek Mill concert in the Wells Fargo Center.

“Perhaps he crossed a line, perception-wise,” Colangelo added.

Coach Brett Brown said he had discussed the situation with the 22-year-old rookie but declined to get into the specifics of the conversation.

“It's not the best thing to see when you wake up on Saturday morning and find out that was the case because I know the reaction,” Colangelo said of the video that surfaced of Embiid dancing, shirtless, at the show. “I understand some of the potential concern out there.” 

Colangelo and Brown both emphasized that Embiid, who injured his left knee when he landed awkwardly after dunking against Portland on Jan. 20, has been moving well on the court in recent workouts.

The team first called his injury a contusion, and Embiid and Brown later said it was a bone bruise. Derek Bodner of derekbodner.com reported Saturday that Embiid has a torn meniscus, and Colangelo subsequently described the injury as a “very minor meniscal tear,” as well as a bone bruise (see full story).

On Saturday, Embiid missed his ninth straight game, and his 12th in the Sixers’ last 13. His only appearance in that stretch was a 32-point effort in a nationally televised loss to Houston on Jan. 27.

Colangelo said it is “more than likely we’ll hold him back until the end of the All-Star break,” meaning he will probably miss Monday’s game in Charlotte and Wednesday’s game in Boston, as well as his planned appearances in the Rising Stars Challenge and the skills competition on All-Star weekend in New Orleans.

As for the dancing, Colangelo said, “Being at a concert wasn't disappointing. Probably being onstage and dancing was a little bit, given the circumstances and given the potential reaction. It's understandable.”

Colangelo called Embiid “highly responsible” and added, “It's hard to say to someone like Joel that has been a tremendous character and tremendous citizen for us, that he's doing anything untoward or wrong.”

Team officials take “a very serious tone” with players about making wise off-court decisions, Colangelo said, though he declined to get into specifics of those conversations.

Brown was likewise mum about his discussions with Embiid.

“I did see the video, and the conversations with Joel after I saw the video included a lot, some of which (media members) mentioned,” he said. “By and large I’d prefer it was a private conversation with a 20-year-old.”

He stopped short of saying he was disappointed with the rookie, and referred a question about how Embiid could dance but not play to Colangelo.

Instant Replay: Sixers 106, Nets 101

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Instant Replay: Sixers 106, Nets 101

BOX SCORE

NEW YORK -- Tiago Splitter made his season debut in the Sixers' 106-101 win over the Nets at Barclays Center on Tuesday.

Splitter, who had not played since Jan. 31, 2016, scored two points with three rebounds in seven minutes off the bench. The veteran center underwent season-ending hip surgery last year and most recently had been dealing with calf issues.

The Sixers had to fend off Nets big man Brook Lopez to get the victory. Lopez led all players with 26 points, nine rebounds and six assists. The Sixers were propelled by Robert Covington (21 points, 13 rebounds) and Dario Saric (23 points, seven rebounds).

The Sixers (28-46) wrapped up their five-game road trip 2-3. The Nets (16-58) had been 5-5 in their previous 10 games, including a 15-point win over the Hawks two days earlier.

Down the stretch
The Sixers led 102-101 with a minute to play. T.J. McConnell drew a foul on Jeremy Lin and made both free throws to bring the Sixers' advantage to three points. Covington grabbed the rebound off a Lopez three-point attempt, and Saric missed a trey on the next possession. The Sixers retained possession with 8.4 seconds to go. Isaiah Whitehead fouled Richaun Holmes. He made both to give the Sixers a 106-101 edge.

Inside the box score
• Lopez scored 10 points in the first quarter and had 17 by halftime.

• Saric didn't waste any time bouncing back from Sunday's struggles. He scored nine points in the first quarter.

• Covington recorded his 12th double-double of the season.

• McConnell dished double-digit assists (10) for the 11th time this season.

• Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had 17 points (he went 4 for 10 from three) and nine rebounds.

Rodriguez the latest injury
Sergio Rodriguez will miss a week with a strained left hamstring. He suffered the injury during Sunday's game against the Pacers. Rodriguez had a precautionary MRI Tuesday morning.

"It's a little strain," he said. "They say it's going to be about a week, then they'll see how it goes afterward. I feel good. It's a mess because there's no pain at all."

Jahlil Okafor (right knee soreness) missed his third straight game. Gerald Henderson (left hip soreness) also sat out. Jerryd Bayless and Ben Simmons were with the team.

Sixers fans on the road
A group of Sixers fans were loud and proud in Brooklyn. Their chants included "Ti-a-go" at the start of the game, "M-V-P" when Saric was at the line and, not to be forgotten, "trust the process" during the second half.

Pennsylvania connections
Villanova alum Randy Foye started for the Nets.

In the second half, a courtside fan yelled, "Chester jumps higher!" when Chester, Pa. native Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was taking a jump ball against Holmes.

Up next
The Sixers will return home (briefly) to host the Hawks Wednesday night. Then it's back on the road to play the Cavaliers on Friday in Cleveland.

Sixers-Nets 5 things: On the road vs. a surprisingly hot 16-win team

Sixers-Nets 5 things: On the road vs. a surprisingly hot 16-win team

The Sixers (27-46) close out their five-game road trip against the Brooklyn Nets (16-57) on Tuesday night at the Barclays Center (7:30 p.m./CSN, CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports app).

Let's take a closer look at the matchup:

1. End of the road
This road trip has been a mixed bag of performances for the Sixers.

It started with heartbreak as they blew a lead in the second half of an overtime loss to the Orlando Magic. Then the Sixers were physically dominated in a blowout loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder before rebounding with a double-digit win over the Chicago Bulls. Their most recent game resulted in a cold-shooting defeat at the hands of the Indiana Pacers.

The Sixers cap off the road swing against a surprisingly hot Nets squad. Despite still having the NBA's worst record by far, Brooklyn has won three of its last four games. That includes back-to-back victories last week for the first time all season when the Nets beat the Detroit Pistons and Phoenix Suns.

2. Budding duo
The Nets have enjoyed this late-season resurgence thanks mostly to the duo of Jeremy Lin and Brook Lopez.

While Lopez has been his steady self all season, Lin has been hampered by a hamstring injury that limited him to just 28 games. Since he returned at the end of February, however, the Nets are 7-10.

The duo's capability was on full display in the Nets' most recent game, a 107-92 road win over the Atlanta Hawks. Lopez and Lin combined for 42 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in the rout.

3. Saric's response
The Sixers have come to expect solid contributions from Dario Saric on a nightly basis, but that didn't materialize in Sunday's loss to the Pacers.

Saric struggled with just nine points on 3 of 15 shooting. The rookie did add 10 rebounds, but his streak of double-digit scoring games came to a halt at 22.

The Sixers will be expecting Saric to play more like the guy who has averaged 19.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.8 assists since the All-Star break on Tuesday night.

4. Injuries
Sergio Rodriguez (hamstring) is questionable. Jahlil Okafor (knee), Gerald Henderson (hip), Joel Embiid (knee), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

Sean Kilpatrick (hamstring) is a game-time decision. Joe Harris (shoulder) is out for the Nets.

5. This and that
• The Sixers have won two straight and four of the last five against the Nets.

• Lin has averaged 16.5 points during his career vs. the Sixers -- his highest mark against any NBA team. That's in addition to 5.4 assists and 3.5 rebounds.

• Richaun Holmes is averaging 13.1 points on 60.5 percent shooting and 6.8 rebounds in March.