The NBA had a pretty packed slate of games on Wednesday night, but none of those contests came close to matching the level of intrigue we were treated to when the Nets faced off against the 76ers in Philadelphia.
That Atlantic Division showdown had a ton of potential to be a particularly contentious one thanks to the presence of Ben Simmons, who received the welcome he and literally everyone else on the planet expected earlier this season after he played his first game in Philly following the blockbuster trade that brought his fairly disastrous stint in The City of Brotherly Love to an end last year.
It’s safe to say Joel Embiid wasn’t exactly sad to see his former teammate head to Brooklyn based on the legendary tweet he posted in the immediate wake of that transaction, and it’s safe to say there is no love lost between the two men (and the teams they currently play for) based on what transpired during the showdown.
It didn’t take very long for tensions to start boiling over, as Embiid and Nic Claxton received matching technicals after getting into it toward the end of the first quarter.
Embiid and Claxton receive technical calls😬 #76ers #Netspic.twitter.com/UEeB1eDemY
— TheColdWire.com (@thecoldwire) January 26, 2023
That development meant the 76ers big man had some extra incentive to be on his best behavior for the remainder of the contest. However, he didn’t exactly exercise a ton of restraint when he pulled out the very colorful celebration that saw him channel his inner Degeneration X after he was fouled on a successful lay-up attempt midway through the third quarter.
Embiid’s celebration 🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/rkMnooaQf5
— NBA Memes (@NBAMemes) January 26, 2023
That move didn’t sit well with Kevin Durant, who was resigned to spending his evening posting about the game on Twitter as he continued to nurse the MCL sprain that’s kept him sidelined for the past few weeks.
Trash celebration @JoelEmbiid
— Kevin Durant (@KDTrey5) January 26, 2023
However, Embiid ultimately got the last laugh, as he hit the Nets star with the perfect response in the form of a video featuring another somewhat risqué celebration from a game in 2021 after Philadelphia secured the 137-133 victory.
#SuckIt https://t.co/rVpradzgkW pic.twitter.com/xP8uJ3T6IA
— Joel “Troel” Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) January 26, 2023