Remember when Joel Embiid slammed the ball in over John Collins on Oct. 28 in Atlanta, did a little shimmy in Collins’ face and received a technical foul for his exuberant celebration?
We think Collins probably does.
In a Bleacher Report “AMA,” Collins named Embiid as the player he’d most to like to dunk on.
“We've had back and forth,” he said. “I don't want to get too into it ... but he knows, too. Every time he sees me he says, bro you're not getting me.”
Embiid thought it couldn't hurt to remind Collins of that dunk on Tuesday.
The Sixers' All-Star center has a history of antagonizing opponents, with Hassan Whiteside, Andre Drummond and Karl-Anthony Towns among the other players he’s irked.
He had another incident with the Hawks on Feb. 24, the night he scored a career-high 49 points. With the clock ticking down and the Sixers up 17, Atlanta’s Kevin Huerter stole the ball from Embiid as he dribbled it past half court, prompting Embiid to show him the middle finger.
Though Embiid apologized for the gesture in his postgame interview with NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Serena Winters and said he wasn’t planning on shooting the ball, he also gave an explanation for his frustration with Huerter.
"There's always this thing about you shouldn't shoot the ball if you're up 20 or something like that,” Embiid said. “And I feel like it should go both ways. I'm running the clock down and I feel like the game is over. That's why I'm doing it. But to me, if the other team is gonna keep playing defense, and they're gonna keep shooting the ball at the other end, I feel like we should just be like, 'Well, be better next time,' and just go out and score.”
Collins, who had 21 points and nine rebounds in that game, unsurprisingly picked the Sixers as one of the two teams he likes to beat the most.
“The Sixers and the Heat,” he said. “Sixers because [Hawks head coach Lloyd] Pierce used to coach for them, so it's intense. And then Miami, whenever I'm back home I like to put on a show for mom.”
The Sixers had been scheduled to play the Hawks last Saturday, but that game and the NBA season are of course on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. But, whenever Embiid and Collins do match up again, there’s a history that’s building to keep in mind.
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