Sports

Video: Eric Bledsoe Gets Ejected for Throwing Ball at Joel Embiid

Joel Embiid appears to have developed a knack to wind his opponents up even without doing any particularly malicious, as Eric Bledsoe found out on Thursday night.

The Bucks guard was ejected with just 2:36 minutes played in the first quarter of Milwaukee’s 128-122 win in Philadelphia after getting tangled in a melee with the Sixers’ center.

Bledsoe and Embiid jostled for the ball, before the latter freed himself from the tangle by shoving the Bucks guard away. While the push wasn’t particularly forceful, Bledsoe was clearly left incensed by the gesture and responded by shoving Embiid in the back.

The Cameroonian then turned around and tossed the ball towards his opponent, who picked up and threw it straight back at him from a distance of about 10 feet. The ball caught Embiid right in the chest and then landed next to Sixers forward Mike Scott.

Unimpressed with Bledsoe’s conduct, Scott opted to throw the ball at the Bucks guard himself, forcing referees to step in and defuse what looked to be developing into a brawl.

Both Sixers players were given a technical foul, while Bledsoe received two, which brought with them an automatic ejection.

Embiid made sure to let the Bucks guard know what he thought as he waved at him while Bledsoe walked off the court.

The Sixers’ big man has been involved in a series of confrontations on the court this season, most recently when he was shoved to the floor by Marcus Smart two weeks ago. The Boston Celtics guard was also ejected and Embiid conceded he was developing a reputation for getting opponents off the court.

"I was just thinking that I'm pretty good at what I do," he said in the post-game press conference, as per ESPN. "This is the second time that I got one of the key guys on the other team thrown out, so I was pretty excited."

Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer said the incident was “unfortunate” and urged his team to be more streetwise in the future.

“Hopefully we'll be smarter and better for it as a team,” he said.

“[Bledsoe] will be smarter and better for it.  He was the first guy greeting his teammates and being there for them when they came in.”

Aside from getting Bledsoe ejected, Embiid was utterly dominant on the court, finishing with 34 points, 13 assists and 13 rebounds.

His performance, however, was overshadowed by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who finished with 45 points, 13 rebounds, six assists and five blocks.

The win lifted the Bucks to 59-20 for the season and ensured they will finish the season with the best record in the league for the first time since 1974.

Back then, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar inspired the Bucks to a 59-23 season as he secured a third MVP crown in four years, before Milwaukee eventually lost the NBA Finals in seven games to the Boston Celtics.

With Antetokounmpo the favorite to win the MVP race, history could repeat itself but he will hope this Bucks team can go one step further than the 1974 vintage.

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers Joel Embiid, #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers looks on in the second half against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 13 in New York City. Elsa/Getty Images

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