The Philadelphia 76ers fought admirably to come back from a double-digit deficit on Wednesday night with their season on the line, but ultimately, it was not enough. The Boston Celtics took down their division rival in a 114-112 thriller, which gave Brad Stevens and company a 4-1 series win and a date with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
As the clock hit zero, Joel Embiid made his way right into the Sixers’ locker room, ostensibly upset that the team’s surprising season came to such an abrupt end. This meant that Embiid didn’t congratulate the Celtics after their series win, which as history shows, was going to be a problem.
This was confirmed after the game by Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports, who reported that this rubbed some Celtics the wrong way, with one openly griping that they wanted Embiid to “man up” after a hotly-contested series.
A debate pops up whenever something like this happens: Should Embiid swallow his pride and show some humility after talking a lot of crap all season long (and especially during this series), or should he be genuine and walk off the court, upset that his season is now over? It happens with every athlete caught in the middle of this, but Embiid’s penchant for trolling meant the scrutiny on him would be intensified a little.
Embiid did make it a point to be complimentary of Boston after the game, saying “They’re a really good team. And for the next decade, we’re going to have a lot of fun battles.” But the sour taste in his mouth over the end of his season was reciprocated by those in the Celtics locker room, albeit for a different reason.