After a loss against the Toronto Raptors, Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid blamed the referees for not calling some fouls that he felt should have been called on him. He also said there were fans who celebrated his injury and claimed it was karma. Despite saying that, he says he isn’t mad at Pascal Siakam or any of the other Raptors players who went to war with him.
Joel Embiid returned to the floor on Friday after missing two games due to a concussion and orbital fracture sustained in a first-round playoff collision with Pascal Siakam. Many Philadelphia 76ers fans and media analysts claimed on social media that Siakam elbowed Embiid in the face with the purpose of injuring him, but the big man knows that wasn’t the case.
Embiid backed Siakam after his return to the lineup, despite the vitriol he’s been experiencing. However, he was less tolerant of the Raptors supporters who celebrated after he was injured.
This playoffs, Joel Embiid and Raptors supporters did not get along.
After Game 6 of the Eastern Conference First Round, Philadelphia 76ers’ Joel Embiid and Toronto Raptors’ Pascal Siakam hug | Cole Burston/Getty Images
Although Embiid isn’t exactly lauded by opposition fans wherever he goes, there seemed to be real hostility from the Toronto crowd during the first-round playoff series between the 76ers and Raptors.
Fans screamed profanities at Embiid and celebrated anytime he missed a shot or gave up a basket in each of the three games he played in Toronto. Despite their team having little chance of winning the game, supporters in attendance exploded when Embiid writhed in agony after sustaining an elbow to the face from Siakam late in Game 6. Some raised their middle fingers at Embiid. Others mocked the situation by pointing and laughing.
Even veteran Raptors announcer Jack Armstrong congratulated Embiid on his injury.
On the show, Armstrong remarked, “You get what you deserve.” “That’s completely inappropriate.” Be an excellent athlete. What is it, exactly? “Karma ain’t no joke.”
Everyone who was rooting for Embiid’s injury was irritated when he returned to defense while making an aircraft sign, something he has done previously in celebration. If there had been a purposeful elbow, they would have cheered Siakam, but Embiid doesn’t believe that was the case.
He remarked after Game 3 against the Miami Heat on Friday, “I don’t believe that was deliberate.” “That is my man.” It is regrettable. I don’t believe he planned to do that, but I was more annoyed by how their followers saw it when it occurred.”
He didn’t stop there, however.
Embiid slams Raptors supporters
After clearing Siakam of any wrongdoing, Embiid took a shot at the Raptors’ whole fan base for how they treated him in Round 1.
“I always believed they had fantastic fans, but seeing them up there altered my perspective.” Whether it was the F shouts and all that crap throughout the series,” he remarked.
“It seldom gets to me ordinarily,” she says, “but I suppose they were upset because I did the aircraft celebration.” It’s been going on in a few of venues lately. Fans believe it is OK to just say F to someone. The arena is filled with children. That does not seem to be acceptable. Even if there were no children.
“It’s almost like it’s the Draymond (Green) scenario if you react to it.” You are fined by the league. It doesn’t concern me; I’m simply speaking for the whole NBA, and as I previously said, if you give it, you must also be able to take it. I’ve said the same thing about our supporters. You have to be prepared to handle it if they boo you and if the players return.”
This rivalry between Embiid and Toronto’s ardent supporters is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
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