The first fight of the NBA season belonged to a pair of All-Star centers, as Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns went at it on Wednesday night in Philadelphia.
The kerfuffle began after the two got tangled up following a Towns turnover during a 20-point blowout in the third quarter. The Wolves center seemed frustrated by the score line and Embiid’s antics, and after the two locked arms they suddenly came to shoving each other. Whether punches were attempted or not will be a big determining factor in suspensions, as it is a bit difficult to figure out if some action is with the intent to throw a punch of simply put the other in a headlock.
The two were eventually wrestled to the ground by teammates, with Ben Simmons notably grabbing Towns from behind and appearing to put him in a chokehold. The officials and the Sixers insist Simmons was acting as a peacemaker, but the Wolves disagree and that adds another layer to the league’s investigation. As it pertains to the two main combatants, the one thing we know for sure is that there is little remorse for their actions.
Embiid, unsurprisingly, was the first to continue things on social media with an Instagram post referencing Jimmy Butler, the infamous Minnesota practice where he called Towns out, and even noted Towns’ mom who was very upset with Embiid from the stands as he left the floor. Towns would respond later in the night, calling Embiid “#BitchMade” on Twitter.
I aIN’t nO BiTcH
RaiSeD ARoUnD LiOnS
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) October 31, 2019
In a shocking turn of events, Embiid would respond and call Towns a “pussy” and saying he owns him, while poking at his playoff record.
That tough guy act ain’t cutting it …. you know what you are.. you know what you’ve always been>>> A PUSSY (SAY IT LOUDER FOR PEOPLE IN THE BACK) Been kicking your ass and pretty please make the playoffs before you talk. It’s a known thing that I OWN YOU. @KarlTowns pic.twitter.com/Izqwk3pEnM
— Joel Embiid (@JoelEmbiid) October 31, 2019
The two teams won’t meet again until March 24 in Minnesota, but you can be sure that will be another heated affair. The question now is what suspensions will the two face, as the NBA has to speak with the players involved among others. Last year’s early season fight between the Rockets and Lakers saw the combatants receive relatively light suspensions compared to expectations, with Brandon Ingram receiving four games for running in and throwing a haymaker, so one would think that would be the absolute cap on a suspension, given precedent and circumstance.