The Philadelphia 76ers and the Atlanta Hawks faced off against each other for Game 3 this past Friday night. Joel Embiid, who was questionable for the Sixers heading into the matchup, was cleared for action after going through his pregame warmups.
Lately, Embiid has been battling through a lot. Ever since going down with a knee injury during Game 4 of the first-round series against the Washington Wizards, the star center has been dealing with a torn meniscus.
During Friday night's game, the big man was in some pain, and it showed as he stopped and grabbed at his knee for a moment while his teammates and opponents rushed down to the other end of the court.
As Embiid showed signs of pain, a notable amount of Hawks fans in attendance at the State Farm Arena in Atlanta started to cheer. Many Sixers fans rushed to social media, questioning whether fans were truly cheering for Embiid's pain or not, as it was unclear for those tuned into the broadcast.
Later on in the game, Embiid was in pain once again as he jumped up and went crashing down on the court. As the big man stayed down for a bit, scattered cheers from the crowd broke out before the All-Star center got up, confirming what many questioned earlier. As it was apparent fans were cheering for Embiid's pain, Sixers veteran forward Tobias Harris grew frustrated.
The following day, Harris took to Twitter to express his frustrations with Atlanta fans' behavior during Game 3 on Friday night.
As fans start to pack arenas once again with COVID-19 restrictions beginning to loosen up, the NBA has dealt with many negative fan actions since the postseason started a few weeks back. The Sixers, who fired up their postseason against the Washington Wizards, witnessed their fair share of bad fan behavior from their own crowd and from Washington's.
Now, it seems the Atlanta crowd has gotten under Tobias Harris' skin. While Friday night's actions shouldn't put a bad label on all Atlanta Hawks fans, cheering for a players' pain certainly isn't acceptable, and Harris hopes it doesn't happen again.