NBA fines 76ers for injury reporting rules violation after Joel Embiid’s return from lengthy absence

The Philadelphia 76ers are being punished for what the NBA characterized as an injury rules violation. The issue stems from the team’s handling of superstar center Joel Embiid ahead of Tuesday’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The Sixers initially listed Embiid as out. He was then upgraded to questionable on an injury report that came out in the afternoon, just a few hours ahead of tipoff. 

Per NBA rules, teams must list the status of a player whose participation may be affected by injury by 5 p.m. local time the day before a game, unless they are on a back-to-back. The injury report is then updated throughout the day.

Joel Embiid looks on during a game

Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on during the first quarter of the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on Tuesday. (Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Embiid ended up playing in Tuesday night’s game and finishing with 24 points. The NBA on Friday said that the Sixers did not comply with the rule and  announced that the franchise had been fined $100,000.


The reigning league MVP returned from a 29-game absence due to left knee surgery.

Draymond Green guards Joel Embiid

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid looks to pass around Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green during the second half of their game at Chase Center in San Francisco on Jan. 30. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

The latest fine comes just over two months after the Sixers were penalized $75,000 for failing to accurately include Embiid on their injury report in a timely manner for a game in January against the defending champion Denver Nuggets. Embiid later sustained a torn meniscus, which required surgery.

And in late March, first-year 76ers head coach Nick Nurse and guard Kelly Oubre Jr. were each fined $50,000 for their actions toward referees during a game.

During the March 27 game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Nurse “aggressively” pursued and “verbally” abused the game’s officials, according to the league. Oubre’s actions during the heated confrontation were described as “obscene” with gestures directed at referees.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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