Joel Embiid got Andre Drummond ejected during the final minute of regulation in Tuesday night’s eventual overtime Pistons win, by throwing himself on the floor like a big old goof after incidental contact with Drummond’s hand. The two behemoths have spent the hours since chirping at each other through the media and on social media, which has helped to distract from the egregiously bad and wrong call made by referee James Williams, who managed to turn phantom contact into not just an undeserved foul, but a lightning-quick technical foul, and an automatic ejection.
With the benefit of replay, the league has now admitted what everyone watching the game on television last night already knew, which is that Embiid is a masterful flop artist, and Williams was suckered:
The warning is a little dissatisfying, but it does mean that Embiid will be fined $5,000 for his next flop. The league also reportedly rescinded the technical foul given to Drummond on the play, saving Drummond the $2,000 fine players incur for each of their first five technical fouls in the regular season.
A better option even than taking corrective action a day later would be taking the time to get these calls right in the first place. If J.J. Redick—a career .890 free throw shooter—had knocked down the freebie, there’s a very good chance the game would’ve ended in regulation with a Sixers win, and no limp-dick Wednesday warning would make Drummond or the Pistons feel any better about that result.