When Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid first met Detroit Pistons counterpart Andre Drummond on an NBA court in October 2017, the former said the latter “can’t play any defense.” Drummond vowed revenge against Embiid in their next meeting, another Philadelphia victory six weeks later that began with Embiid telling the Pistons center “he can’t shoot” and ended with the Sixers star declaring himself “the James Harden of bigs” because his flopping prowess successfully fouled out his rival.
“I mean you can’t really have a conversation with a man who can’t play a back-to-back,” Drummond told reporters at the time, via Fox Sports Detroit. “I’ve been playing for six years and I’ve missed maybe 4-5 games. So when he can play a whole season without taking a rest, he can come talk to me.”
The two 7-footers still embraced afterward, and the beef went dormant in their final two showdowns last season — two more Sixers wins, one by 40 points and another that indeed saw Embiid rest.
When they met again on Wednesday, one year to the day after their initial meeting, Embiid and Drummond threw the beef back on the grill and got cooking. With less than a minute left in regulation, Embiid buried a hook shot over Drummond that gave his Sixers a 120-118 lead, flopped like a fish when the Pistons star turned with elbows held high and immediately called for his rival’s ejection.
For some reason, the officials granted Embiid’s request, issuing Drummond a second technical foul and sending him to the showers with 14 points. For Drummond’s sake, thankfully Pistons teammate Blake Griffin scored a career-high 50 points to deliver Detroit’s first-ever win over Embiid in overtime.
On Wednesday, the league acknowledged what everyone else knew was a flop:
76ers' Joel Embiid received a warning for violating NBA's anti-flopping rule for his incident with Detroit's Andre Drummond on Tuesday night.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) October 24, 2018
‘I feel like I own a lot of real estate in his head’
In defeat, Embiid denied embellishing the foul and piled on Drummond, saying, “His hand actually touched my face, but that’s his problem. Like I said, I feel like I own a lot of real estate in his head.”
‘That man is fat outta shape and talks all day’
To which Drummond responded both on Twitter:
Lol does he? If that’s so he wouldn’t be so excited to have me off the floor? Think about it that’s a silly statement ! I’ll take the W though enjoy flight home #Emmyaward winning actor
— Andre Drummond (@AndreDrummond) October 24, 2018
[Submitted by @khristinawilliams] Andre Drummond responds to @joelembiid’s “You can’t guard me,” comment from tonight’s game. Swipe Left to see the video. The @detroitpistons beat the @sixers 133-132. #girlstalksportstv #andredrummond #joelembiid #sixers #detroitpistons #nba
A post shared by Girls Talk Sports TV (@girlstalksportstv) on Oct 23, 2018 at 8:53pm PDT
For somebody who was “fat outta shape,” locked up and run to exhaustion by Drummond, Embiid still managed to amass 33 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and three blocks in 39 minutes. The Pistons did get the win this time, so Drummond owns bragging rights at least until they meet again on Nov. 3.
Maybe then Drummond will start playing defense and Embiid will stop flopping. Just a thought.
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