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Joel Embiid congratulates referees after their Game 4 loss to the Raptors

Joel Embiid hinted that an inside job occurred in Game 4 of their first-round series against the Toronto Raptors.
Embiid gave the refs a sarcastic clap after the game.

Embiid gave the refs a sarcastic clap after the game.

In the middle of a heated game, it’s a common sight to see players and coaches complain to referees. It’s one of the tensest interactions in a game apart from the game itself. It shows how desperate a player or a coach is to snag the victory. In Game 4 of the first-round series between the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors, MVP candidate Joel Embiid clearly wasn’t pleased with the calls. Instead of screaming at the referees, Embiid gave them a round of applause right after the final buzzer.


In the post-game presser, Embiid explained his antics and his overall thoughts on the officiating in Game 4. The 76ers failed to complete the sweep as the Raptors won, 110-102. Embiid, who’s built a reputation as a witty trash talker, gave the referees a bit of a ribbing by congratulating them.

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“I’m going to take my own advice and not complain about fouls. But you know, like I was doing at the end of the game, they did a great job. I admire the job that they did today. To me, it felt like they had one job coming in here tonight, and they got it done, so congrats to them," Embiid said, per The Philly Voice.

Embiid had nine trips to the free-throw line in Game 4 where he knocked down seven shots. This is within his average this series of 10.8 free-throw attempts and 8.5 makes. His fellow star James Harden, known for getting free trips to the charity stripe, was 10-of-11 in Game 4. The numbers show that the referees gave them their usual whistles. But Embiid probably felt something odd that night.

Embiid backpedals

After Embiid’s congratulatory remarks to the referees, the reporter clarified if the job he’s referring to is to make sure there’s a Game 5. At this point, Embiid backpedaled on his statements. Doubling down on it could mean a hefty fine or even a suspension. The Cameroonian controlled his emotions.

"I don't know. I really don't know what I'm talking about, but you can figure it out. They did a great job. I'm going to take my own advice and not complain about it. I guess, next game, if they're not going to call it, I'm going to be even more aggressive offensively and defensively. If they want to give fouls or if they want to call really no fouls, really have to make them earn it and really by physical,” Embiid said.

If we are to believe Embiid’s second round of comments, then he’s quickly moved on from the “bad officiating” in Game 4. As such, we can assume that he’s just going to be as aggressive as possible on Game 5 to finally get rid of the lower-seeded Raptors. 

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