Joel Embiid’s Tour de Trash Talking continued Friday night in the Sixers’ triple-overtime loss to the Thunder.
Two days after an Instagram exchange with friend Karl-Anthony Towns, things got chippier against the Thunder veterans. Embiid swapped words with both Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook.
Westbrook took exception when Embiid waved goodbye to Steven Adams when the Thunder center fouled out, and the reigning MVP sent a message of his own after the game.
“He told me to go home,” Embiid said. “And this is my home and I ain’t going nowhere.”
Embiid said he gave the Thunder credit for the 119-117 win (see observations), but took a jab at Westbrook’s individual performance. Even though Westbrook recorded a 27-point, 18-rebound, 15-assist triple-double, he shot just 30 percent in the effort.
“The dude shot like 10 for 33,” Embiid said. “I wish I would have shot 33 times. I guess we would have had a better chance of actually winning the game.”
Embiid told Westbrook he would see him in Oklahoma City. The Sixers play the Thunder on the road Jan. 28.
“I’m not about to get into back and forth with him,” Westbrook said, according to The Oklahoman. “I’m not about to give him my energy.”
Before Embiid had words with Westbrook, there was chatter between him and Anthony.
With the Sixers down seven and 2:26 on the clock, Embiid banked in a hook shot as he was fouled by Anthony (see highlights). After the bucket, Embiid shouted “and-one” several times in Anthony’s direction, which led to some jawing between the pair.
Embiid reiterated he isn’t going to back down, nor is he concerned about these exchanges turning physical.
“He just said something like, ‘Don’t do this with me,’ or something like that,” Embiid said. “I’m like, ‘Dude, you’re not going to do anything. You fouled me. I had the and-one on you.’
“Guys in the league, I can’t remember the last time someone actually threw a punch on somebody. I’m not worried about anybody. I’ve seen out there a lot, all over the place about people talking about people coming back at me. I’m African, so don’t try me.”
Embiid has been involved in trash talking with players around the league, from Towns to Draymond Green, Hassan Whiteside to Andre Drummond. Each time, he emphasizes the exchanges are conversations, not altercations.
"I’m having fun," Embiid said. "What goes on the court, stays on the court. I don’t think I ever disrespect anybody."