One year after the Sixers signed Andre Drummond to back up Embiid, the Sixers signed Montrezl Harrell to a two-year contract to play the role of reserve center.
And just like Drummond and Embiid, Harrell and the Sixers All-Star have gone nose-to-nose in the past.
When Harrell was on the Wizards last December, he was guarding Embiid in the low post when Embiid dropped him with an elbow to the chest. When no whistle blew, Harrell bounced up and put Embiid in a bear hug as Embiid went toward the basket. The two grabbed one another by the jersey before Embiid let go, but it didn’t look as though Harrell wanted the set-to to end.
They each were called for a technical foul on the play. The very next Sixers offensive possession, Embiid smelled blood in the water. He went heads-up against Harrell again, making the bucket and getting another foul called on Harrell. Embiid shouted as the ball dropped in, and Harrell, taking issue, shoved Embiid away with one arm dismissively. Embiid lobbied for officials to further punish Harrell, and they did. Second tech, hit the showers.
After the game, Harrell was asked if he regretted getting ejected:
“Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. I don’t regret it one minute because at the end of the day, the double tech was called how it was supposed to be called… but we gonna nitpick about every little rule, you know, taunting and all that, then let it go both ways, ya feel me? He got an ‘and-one’ he wanna get in my face and stuff like that, I pushed him out of my face. That was the end of it for me.
“He wanna step back and point, ‘Oh, I got pushed!’ Stand on your toughness, bro. if you’re so tough and you’re so, you know, stand on that, my dude. Don’t start nitpicking and pointing and walking away when the ref walk up… stand on that. Because, as you see, I am.
“I got tossed. I mean, it is what it is. I wish it wouldn’t have been in the situation I was in, but I don’t regret it. I don’t want to take it back… I’m not gonna change how I play for nobody. I’m not gonna back down from nobody, I don’t care about none of that rule about talking, man, it’s talk. Simple as that.”
What was Embiid’s response when asked whether he goaded Harrell into the ejection?
Joel Embiid on his back and forth with Montrezl Harrell: "I wouldnât say I baited him into that (second tech) but I like to think that I'm a troll. I like to think I kind of made him get out of his comfort zone, and that got him kicked out...
— Gina Mizell (@ginamizell) December 27, 2021
Seems like they’ll have plenty to talk about when camp gets under way in a few weeks.