OK, so banning Kevin Hart from Sixers games seems a bit harsh. But maybe the Sixers at least get him a nice suite seat instead of standing right there on the court where opposing players claim he's motivation.
Any seat in the building where the players on the court can't hear him would work just fine.
James Harden has said that Hart's trash talk motivated him to cook the Sixers a couple of seasons ago. And now Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade got into it with Hart last night.
Wade was red hot, finishing the night with 28 off the bench on an impressive 11-16 shooting.
"When you got people like Kevin Hart talking on the sideline, when you got the crowd saying all the things they're saying, I heard a lot of things tonight, and it's all used as motivation," Wade said. "To be able to hush a whole crowd, that's a great feeling."
The two could be seen jawing after Wade's huge shot in the final minute. Hart was seated near Allen Iverson, who Wade showed respect for following the game.
Hart and Wade kept the chatter up on Twitter following the game as well.
So I don't know. Maybe Hart should stay in a suite like he did for the Eagles Super Bowl. That turned out better.
It’s safe to say Joel Embiid did not agree with the Sixers’ decision to hold him out of Game 2 of their first-round playoff series against the Heat.
Embiid took to social media minutes after the Sixers' 113-103 loss (see observations), and he did not mince words. The All-Star center made it abundantly clear he's unhappy with the team for taking overly precautionary measures with his health, and threw an F-bomb in there to really drive the point home.
“F------ sick and tired of being babied,” Embiid wrote on his Instagram story.
Despite clearing the NBA’s concussion protocol prior to Game 2, the Sixers determined holding Embiid out was “best for Joel’s health,” coach Brett Brown revealed pregame. There is currently no timetable for Embiid's return.
Here's what Brown had to say postgame (more here):
He just wants to play basketball. He wants to be with his team, he wants to play in front of the fans and he wants to see this through. When he’s not able to do that, he gets frustrated, and I respect his frustrations. It’s born out of him wanting to be with his team. And so the medical side, different reasons, I’m not going to go there. But I do know the spirit he delivered that [Instagram story] you just talked about reflects my conversations with him. It’s completely driven by team, competitiveness, I want to play basketball, that type of feeling more than anything.
Meanwhile, Embiid had this to say to ESPN:
Though Embiid is in the clear as far as concussion symptoms are concerned, he’s still recovering from a broken orbital bone that will likely force him to wear a protective mask for the foreseeable future.
This is not the first time Embiid has clashed with the Sixers over injuries. Earlier this season, he fought against minutes restrictions and the team holding him out of back-to-backs after returning from a torn meniscus.
Embiid eventually won both of those battles, so don’t be surprised if he’s back on the court for Game 3 in Miami, especially with the series now tied 1-1.
CAMDEN, N.J. — Marco Belinelli brought three-point shooting to the Sixers when he joined them midseason. He also added another veteran perspective that is zoned in for the playoffs.
Before the first round against the Heat began, Belinelli stressed the importance of looking at the series like a clean slate and not relying on the success of their 16-game win streak.
After extending that streak to 17 with a victory in the series opener, Belinelli has already moved from on from the Sixers’ success in Game 1 as he looks ahead to Monday’s matchup.
“I think tonight is going to be important to start the game well immediately, set the right tone of the game,” Belinelli said at shootaround prior to Game 2. “We know that they’re going to be aggressive on offense and defense. For us, it’s just important for us to be ready to play our game.”
The veteran shooter provides a spark off the bench that has helped the Sixers’ second unit. Belinelli scored 25 points, going 4 for 7 from three, in 33 minutes off the bench in Game 1. He wrapped up the regular season going 43.1 percent from long range in April.
Belinelli can speak to the postseason because he’s been there before: this is his fifth appearance in his 11-year NBA career. He got his first experience during the 2010-11 season with New Orleans, where his more veteran teammates included Chris Paul, David West and Emeka Okafor.
But Belinelli, 32, had been competing on big stages long before he reached the NBA playoffs. He started his professional career in Europe when he was 16 years old.
“It’s going to be different," Belinelli said of Game 2. "So we just need to take one game at a time."