NBA stars Kevin Durant and Joel Embiid let competitive spirits fly on the pitch and express admiration for each other

Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant and Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid said a few words towards the end of their game Thursday night in Brooklyn.

Embiid told Durant and the Nets to come home after Philadelphia won 110-102 in a crucial Eastern Conference game. Embiid was only returning the favor to Durant after the Nets beat the 76ers earlier this month.

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Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) gestures towards Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid after an NBA basketball game on Thursday, December 30, 2021 in New York City. The 76ers won 110-102.
(AP Photo / Adam Hunger)

As the two seemed to have a few words on the pitch, cooler heads won the day and both players showed their respect and admiration for each other after the game.

“They’re the best team in the conference. Obviously I respect them a lot,” Embiid said of Durant, via ESPN. “I mean, judging by the way he was acting the last time around, that’s the same thing he told us. Basically, I returned the favor.”

Embiid added, “There’s a lot of respect. I always tell people, I think I can do anything on the basketball court, and there aren’t a lot of guys who are able to do that. there was one player that I think is probably as talented, or more talented, than me, it’s definitely him. So I have a lot of respect for him. I admire his game. We’re just competitive. And the wins. every one of them count, and it’s always good to beat the best team in the conference. “

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on towards Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, December 30, 2021 in New York City.  The 76ers won 110-102.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) looks on to Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (7) during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, December 30, 2021 in New York City. The 76ers won 110-102.
(AP Photo / Adam Hunger)

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Durant said he welcomed the competition.

“If you’ve watched Joel and I play, it’s like that in every game – even the All-Star Game. We respect each other so much that the natural fire of competition, I guess, comes out. That’s the name of the game. and let them know that we are coming in with the same energy. I love the energy they played with tonight. You love competition, that will only make you better.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid gestures towards Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant after the two exchanged words in the dying minute of the second half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday 30 December 2021 in New York.  The 76ers won 110-102.

Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid gestures towards Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant after the two exchanged words in the dying minute of the second half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday 30 December 2021 in New York. The 76ers won 110-102.
(AP Photo / Adam Hunger)

Embiid led Philadelphia with 34 points, seven rebounds and three steals. Tyrese Maxey added 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Durant had 33 points with six rebounds and four assists on 13 of 24 shots. James Harden also had 33 points with 14 rebounds and 10 assists.

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Brooklyn still leads the East with a 23-10 record. The 76ers are sixth at 19-16.


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