The Sixers reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with Andre Drummond on Tuesday, an unexpected move to find a backup center from President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey.
Drummond feels like an odd fit after Morey stressed the importance of finding a flexible big to play backup center, though we'll see what the team has in mind. But the really strange fit seems like more of a chemistry question, because Drummond and Sixer superstar Joel Embiid have some hilariously contentious history with one another dating all the way back to 2018.
Allow me to jog your memory.
The beef started way back in 2017, when Embiid got the better of Drummond for the second time that season. He scored 25 to Drummond's 14 and managed to get Drummond to foul out, at which point he waved goodbye to the Pistons big man:
The two had been exchanging friendly jabs on the Internet after Embiid bullied Drummond in their first-ever matchup earlier that season, and afterwards Embiid tried to remind us it was all fun and games:
“We’re just having fun,” Embiid said. “I love having fun on social media. He does, too. We’re just young kids having fun out there.”
But the following season, Embiid continued the trash talk as he continued to crush Drummond. Drummond picked up a tech for "shoving" Embiid, which eventually earned Embiid a warning from the league about flopping:
After the game, Embiid hit reporters with a fabulous one-liner: "I feel like I own a lot of real estate in his head."
With the two teams squaring off again just 11 days later, of course we were in for good stuff in the rematch.
Embiid dropped a nasty 39-point, 17-rebound performance while Drummond scored just eight, and the Sixers star doubled down on the real estate burn afterwards:
"I thought that both of the bigs [Drummond and Zaza Pachulia] tried to flop a lot, especially on the back downs, trying to get me my fifth foul or to foul out, which I thought was whatever. But at the end of the day, I kicked both of their ass, whoever was guarding me, and we got the win."
Just crushing them. And he didn't stop there; Embiid flexed his Twitter Fingers afterwards by roasting Drummond with a little three-photo tweet that went down as one of his greatest posts ever:
Drummond tried to clap back at Embiid on Instagram:
Not exactly a winning comeback after your team gets pasted.
That was truly the peak of their beef, in large part because it hasn't been much of a contest between the two. Through last season, Embiid and Drummond have faced off seven times with the Sixers winning six of those matchups. Here are their respective stats from those interactions:
- Embiid: 27.7 PTS, 10.3 REB, 2.0 AST, 0.9 STL, 1.6 BLK
- Drummond: 15.4 PTS, 12.0 REB, 2.9 AST, 2.1 STL, 1.1 BLK
Embiid out-scored Drummond in all but one matchup, and that one time was because the Sixers plastered Detroit so bad that the Sixers big man only played 28 minutes in a 16-point win.
Now the two are teammates, so we'll see what kind of hi-jinx ensue this season. Regardless of what happens on the court, it'll be great to follow the Embiid-Drummond storyline all year long.