Celtics

Is Celtics-Sixers a rivalry? Richardson shares amusing perspective

Celtics

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Among the Boston Celtics' many additions this offseason were three members of the 2019-20 76ers: Ime Udoka (an assistant coach on that Philadelphia team), Al Horford and Josh Richardson.

Considering the Celtics and Sixers have had some heated battles in recent years, it's fair to wonder how those Philly transplants feel about the rivalry now that they're in Boston.

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As Richardson relayed Thursday, "rivalry" may be the wrong term to use.

"From when I was there, Joel (Embiid) shut all that down, because they always kicked our ass," Richardson told reporters in a video conference. "We always lost, so like, it's not a rivalry."

Embiid admitted as much publicly after a 2018 Christmas Day loss to the Celtics, the Sixers' ninth in its last 11 games against Boston.

Philly actually turned the tide somewhat with Richardson and Horford in tow, taking three of four from the Celtics in the 2019-20 regular season. But then came the playoffs, when Boston swept the Sixers out of the first round in the Orlando bubble.

These new-look Celtics may have their hands full with Philly this season, though. While Ben Simmons' future with the franchise remains unclear, the Sixers boasted the Eastern Conference's best record in 2020-21 and swept their season series versus Boston.

The C's and Sixers square off for the first time this season on Dec. 1, but even if Philly is favored, don't expected Embiid and his teammates to take Boston lightly.