What started out as some beef between Ben Simmons and Jared Dudley has now escalated into Jared Dudley trying to beef with the other stars of the 76ers roster. In the third quarter, Joel Embiid tried to get a block on Nets big man Jarrett Allen—a player Embiid elbowed in the face and then laughed about it later. Dudley went to stick up for his teammate and ran towards Embiid to give him a shove. Seconds after Dudley made contact, Butler ran up on the veteran forward and shoved him into Spencer Dinwiddie/the front row of the Barclays crowd. From there it’s hard to note specifics of who was doing what intentionally or accidentally. All that’s clear is that a scrum broke out.
Here it is in real time:
And here’s the slow-motion replay the broadcast showed moments later. (Warning: Reggie Miller.)
The refs only focused on the main perpetrators of this whole kerfuffle. This meant that Simmons didn’t get anything for going towards Dudley (though the Net tried to inconspicuously drag him down), D’Angelo Russell didn’t get anything for shoving the whole crowd and one of the officials didn’t get anything for shoving one of his coworkers.
In the end, Embiid was given a flagrant 1, and both Dudley and Butler were ejected. As for why both players were ejected instead of only given technicals, the broadcasters speculated that it had something to do with the scrum making its way into the crowd—a line the NBA has been pretty strict on upholding.
While both teams had players sent to the locker room, it was a net positive for the Nets because their the veteran irritant ultimately did his job in getting one of Philadelphia’s best players ejected. The fact that Dudley is still able to be an effective member of a playoff team in 2019 is nothing short of a miracle.
Update (6:00 p.m. EDT): The first of what I assume will be many verbal shots has been fired.
Update (7:02 p.m. EDT): Dudley gives his response to what happened. He argues that neither he nor Butler should have been ejected, and that all he did was defend his teammate.
Update (7:15 p.m. EDT): D’Angelo Russell reiterates Dudley’s point that the Nets were still upset at Embiid laughing off his elbow to Jarrett Allen’s face.