The NBA knew exactly what they were doing when they scheduled the Brooklyn Nets at the Philadelphia 76ers during “Rivalry Week.” This was all about Ben Simmons returning to Philly after his infamous struggles in the 2021 NBA Playoffs led to a trade request, a decision to sit out games, and eventually a move to Brooklyn that returned James Harden to the Sixers.
The rivalry between Simmons and Philly fans is a bit ugly, but as the 76ers pulled out a 137-133 win over the Nets on Wednesday night, a new rivalry might have emerged between two MVP candidates. Kevin Durant really did not like Joel Embiid summoning the power of legendary pro wrestling stable D-Generation-X and doing multiple crotch chops to celebrate a bucket against Brooklyn.
The play happened in the third quarter when Embiid completed an and-one. He immediately went into the crotch times — three times. Watch the play here:
Kevin Durant — who has been out for weeks with an MCL sprain — thought Embiid’s celebration was in poor taste. Durant immediately tweeted that Embiid’s celebration was “trash.”
Embiid responded on Twitter, because of course he did. Embiid quoted Durant’s tweet and responded with the hashtag #suckit — a reference to DX’s catchphrase from ‘90s pro wrestling — and sent a an edited video of himself doing crotch chops over DX’s theme song and entrance video.
This is a lot.
It looks like we have a real rivalry between two of the NBA’s most online superstars during “Rivalry Week.” With the NBA All-Star draft set to be a live event before the game this year, I’m wondering if Durant — who is likely to be a captain — will decide not to choose Embiid for his team.
A Sixers-Nets playoff series would be so fun. Fingers crossed.