How many crotch chops is too many in the NBA? Apparently, four.
That's how many times it looked like Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid thrusted and gestured toward his groin area after making a layup as Portland Trail Blazers guard Malcolm Brogdon fouled him on Sunday. Embiid was fined $35,000 for the gesture, the league announced Tuesday.
Embiid's outburst took place with 2:14 remaining in the third quarter. There's a camera change during the chopping, so it's possible the league's reigning MVP went for more than four before heading to the line.
Philadelphia's 22-point lead might have inspired the gesticulation. And while early celebrations can sometimes precede a pitfall, the 76ers went on to easily defeat Portland 126-98.
Kelly Oubre Jr. was visibly taken aback by Embiid's actions after the bucket. But if you look at Tobias Harris, he doesn't seem too fazed by it. That's because Embiid's done it before, but Oubre is new. Oubre signed a one-year deal with the 76ers last month and Harris has been part of the team since 2019.
When Embiid finished a tough basket while drawing a foul against the Brooklyn Nets last season, he also did the crotch chop. The infamous "suck it" celebration was popularized by wrestling stable D-Generation X and WWE legend Triple H.
It cost Embiid $25,000 back then, which Triple H offered to subsidize at the time.
— Triple H (@TripleH) January 28, 2023
"Curious, Joel Embiid," Triple H wrote on X, formerly Twitter. "If you wrote a bigger check now, could you get a volume discount to cover the rest of the season??"
On Tuesday, Triple H again weighed in and made a suggestion for Embiid.
— Triple H (@TripleH) October 31, 2023
"Hey @JoelEmbiid - I know a place where you can do that all day, and everyone will love it. @WrestleMania 40 is right there in Philly..." he wrote.
The Cameroonian star's previous defense of the ode to wrestling still seems to apply:
"There's no secret that Triple H is my guy," Embiid said after the game last season. "Obviously, DX, when I used to watch wrestling, those were my guys. Any time I get the chance, I haven't done it in a while so I just felt like it was a good and-1. I got the ball, I didn't even see the rim, and I felt like it was deserving of a good celebration."
Since the league increased its punishment by $10,000 this time, Embiid might want to find a new go-to celebration.