The Philadelphia 76ers may have caught a massive break on Thursday night.
Joel Embiid kicked Nic Claxton in the groin early in their game versus the Brooklyn Nets and was only called for a Flagrant 1 foul.
Hall of Famer Charles Barkley claimed that he should’ve been ejected for that, and Shannon Sharpe seemed to agree.
Sharpe took to Undisputed to claim that Embiid didn’t make a basketball play and should’ve been sent home early for that.
Joel Embiid deserved to be ejected for his kick on Nic Claxton, says @ShannonSharpe:
“Embiid’s play wasn’t a basketball play. It was unnecessary, excessive and he deserved a flagrant 2…he kicked a guy!” pic.twitter.com/qEhB78XfZw
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 21, 2023
Embiid never attempted to get back on the floor or even shake Claxton off; he purposely kicked him in the groin after getting tangled up with him.
And while we don’t know what led to that — nor that it would justify it — the rules are pretty clear when it comes to something like that.
The referees may not have wanted to send Embiid to the locker room so early in the game, as it would’ve obviously turned the tables in favor of the home side.
However, they later ejected James Harden despite barely making any contact with Royce O’Neal in an attempted drive to the rim, so they still had an impact on the game.
The league is unlikely to suspend, fine, or take any sort of action against Embiid for his kick on Claxton, as they won’t try and expose the refs any further with this.
But he needs to be better than this, as they won’t look the other way again.NEXT: NBA Analyst Sounds Off On James Harden's Ejection