NBA: Joel Embiid Jumps Into Crowd, Nearly Lands On Actress Regina King

Nicholas Hunt Getty Images

When the Philadelphia 76ers played the New York Knicks in Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, there was a brief intersection of the sports and Hollywood worlds, as Sixers center Joel Embiid jumped into the crowd to try to save a loose ball from going out of bounds. He happened to land near Oscar-nominated actress Regina King.

The jump took place during the third quarter of the game, which the Sixers won 126-111, per ESPN. When the ball flew towards the crowd, the 7-foot-2 center lept over the first row, seemingly landing in the lap of a man sitting at courtside. Sitting nearby was King – who was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in If Beale Street Could Talk – as well as actor/comedian Tracy Morgan. Several announcers, including Knicks legend Walt “Clyde” Frazier, were sitting in the vicinity as well.

No one was hurt, although Sixers fans likely got a scare from the incident, considering Embiid’s injury history. The player sat out for the entire first two years of his career with a broken foot, had his third season got short by a knee injury, and suffered both a concussion and facial injury in a collision with then-teammate Markelle Fultz, which put him out towards the end of last season. The current season has been the healthiest of Embiid’s career.

In the Philadelphia win, Embiid scored a game-high 26 points, along with 14 rebounds. Tobias Harris scored 25 for the Sixers.

Watch the play here:

The win came the night after the 76ers lost to rivals the Boston Celtics at home, for the team’s first loss since making several trades prior to last week’s NBA trade deadline. Earlier in the day Wednesday, Embiid had been fined $25,000 for criticizing the referees following the Boston game, per ESPN.

“The referees f—ing suck,” Embiid had said from the postgame press conference podium after that game, most likely in reference to a non-foul call on Boston’s Al Horford, against Embiid late in the game’s fourth quarter.

It’s unclear whether Kendall Jenner, who dates Sixers point guard Ben Simmons, attended the game Wednesday night.

Regina King, who has been acting since the mid-1980s, won a Golden Globe last month for her role in director Barry Jenkins’ drama If Beale Street Could Talk, and is also nominated for an Oscar. King is from Los Angeles, but has been photographed at Knicks games frequently, as far back as 2010, per a Getty Images archive.