PHILADELPHIA – Not all the Sixers tough moments happened on the court Saturday.

ESPN cameras caught reserve center Amir Jonson and Sixers standout Joel Embiid looking at a cell phone while on the bench during the fourth quarter of Philadelphia’s 111-102 game 1 loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Johnson apologized in a team-issued statement after the game.

"I apologize for having my phone on the bench in today’s game," Johnson said. "I take full responsibility and will accept the consequences of my actions. I also apologize to my teammates, the 76ers organization and the fans for the distraction this has caused." 

Sixers general manager Elton Brand announced the team has fined Johnson an undisclosed amount.

"I have addressed the matter with Amir directly, and he understands why his actions were unacceptable," Brand said in a team statement. "We are moving forward together with our full focus now on Game 2."

Embiid said after the game that Johnson was checking on his sick daughter. It’s against NBA rules for players to have cell phones on the bench.

Sixers coach Brett Brown learned about the situation on his way to the post-game interview room.

“It’s completely unacceptable,” Brown said. “We will deal with it internally I’m sure very soon.”

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Staff Writer

I've covered high school sports and variety of other events and teams - including the ShopRite LPGA Classic and the Phillies - since 1993.

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