Apparently Nerlens Noel didn’t take kindly to Eric Bledsoe insisting that the Kentucky Wildcats could beat the winless Philadelphia 76ers in a seven-game series. Noel took the first opportunity available to send Bledsoe a message in his team’s loss to the Phoenix Suns tonight, committing a hard foul 30 seconds after tip-off that prompted Bledsoe to get in the rookie’s face.
Bledsoe was called for a technical after the incident, while Noel – a fellow Kentucky alum, ironically – was levied with a flagrant 1 after video review.
Frankly, that’s a needlessly hard foul. Noel takes a big, aggressive swipe across Bledsoe’s face and midsection after committing the initial contact. The Suns guard had reason to be upset, especially considering his incendiary comments from earlier this week.
Noel won’t cop to any malice, of course. But we think his reaction pretty much says it all:
We’d never condone dirty play. Still, it’s hard not to almost admire Noel’s pride. The Sixers are professionals no matter what their play or record says, and should absolutely feel disrespected by Bledsoe’s sentiment. It’s good to know Philly has some fight.
(Video via BasketBall Universe)
What do you think?
Follow Jack on Twitter at @ArmstrongWinter.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.