Feb. 26 (UPI) -- Philadelphia 76ers star center Joel Embiid was fined $25,000 for making an obscene gesture on the court and using profane language in a live television interview.
NBA executive vice president of basketball operations Kiki VanDeWeghe announced the fine in a statement released Wednesday. The league said Embiid's fine was based on multiple prior violations of "acceptable on-court decorum."
The hand gesture occurred with 17 seconds remaining in the 76ers' 129-112 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night. With the clock winding down, Hawks guard Kevin Huerter approached Embiid from behind and stole the ball from him, prompting the All-Star big man to flash his middle finger at Huerter.
Embiid, who notched a career-best 49 points in the win, later apologized for directing the gesture at Huerter.
After the game, Embiid made a profane remark while talking about his comment from last week about being the best basketball player in the world.
"Yeah, I believe I am. But when I made that statement, I didn't actually say that I was," Embiid said in the interview. "I said that being with some of the best players in the world [at All-Star Weekend], I proved myself. That's what I said. But yeah, [expletive] it. My bad. I do believe it."
Embiid, a three-time All-Star selection, has averaged 23.8 points, 12 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game in 42 starts this season.